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Remembering “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott 1966-2004

Dimebag Darrell Abbott / 1966-2004


Dimebag was one of a kind!

Tim Brouk of Indiana’s Journal and Courier Online has issued the following report:

Thursday [Dec. 8] will mark the one-year anniversary of one of the most shocking moments in rock ‘n’ roll history.

On a cold night in Columbus, Ohio, the new heavy metal band DAMAGEPLAN was launching into its first eardrum-bursting opus. The small club was filled with about 500 fans, mostly there to see the band’s guitar player, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who earned metal royalty by propelling popular metal act PANTERA for almost 20 years.

A deranged fan put a sudden halt to the show and the life of one of metal’s most celebrated six-stringers.

Initial reports were that Nathan Gale, 25, was upset that PANTERA had broken up a year earlier. The incident is a bone-chilling reminder to performers that their work can affect others in the most extreme ways, believes Michael Morrison, an associate professor of history who teaches a class on the history of rock ‘n’ roll.

"There is no way to control the way fans react to them and the music," Morrison said. "We protect political people, but musicians are in the public eye, too. When you put something out, you don’t know how people will react and lose control of the message."

While a couple rock musicians have died onstage due to accidents or health problems, Morrison believes no musician has ever been murdered onstage before Abbott.

Morrison said he knows from how students "editorialize" his lectures after class that music fans sometimes have strong reactions. Gale gave the strongest reaction possible almost a year ago.

Local musicians still remember hearing the news about Abbott’s death.

Guitarist John Wekluk recalled PANTERA as "probably the most talented metal band in the 1990s" thanks to Abbott.

However, he believes Abbott’s death didn’t register with a lot of people.

"It didn’t get much mainstream press when it happened," Wekluk said. "Even if metal is on popular swing, it’s still underground unless it’s METALLICA. I think the average person on the street doesn’t know his death like John Lennon’s."

"The shock factor makes his death more memorable," said Jesse Charles, 27, a guitarist and drummer. "Dimebag Darrell made a pretty big contribution to music, but a lot of people think ‘Whatever, it’s metal.’ "

While heavy metal sometimes gets an unfair shake compared to other music niches, Charles found Abbott’s work inspiring. He bought the 1992 release, "Vulgar Display of Power", around the time he was first picking up the guitar. While many of Abbott’s leads could melt the faces of people in the front row, many songs and riffs were simple enough.

"He was definitely a shredder of sorts but inspiring for people like me who kinda plunked around," Charles said. "He wasn’t over the top all the time."

Charles believes rocks stars who are murdered — Abbott, Lennon and Latin singer Selena — are mourned differently than those who committed suicide — Elliott Smith, INXS’ Michael Hutchence and Kurt Cobain.

"Suicides are more sad. I remember Cobain’s suicide most vividly," Charles said. "When someone is shot, it’s tragic, and you hate the guy that did it. There’s more anger for murders and sadness goes with suicide."

BATTLE GROUND’s Charles Samuelson, 20, has been a PANTERA fan since he found a mix tape of random PANTERA songs on the road and popped it in his Walkman. He said he became a metal fan thanks to that tape.

While he doesn’t rank Abbott at the top of the all-time rock guitar greats, Samuelson believes Abbott to be unique, which carried PANTERA.

"I didn’t hear anybody like him at the time," Samuelson said "If I hear a guitar line, I can immediately tell it’s Dimebag Darrell."

Samuelson owns all of PANTERA’s discography.

"Even the hair-metal ones from the ’80s, before (singer) Phil Anselmo was in the band," he admitted.

Samuelson believes Abbott’s memory would be preserved even if he didn’t die onstage.

"His guitar playing makes him more memorable," Samuelson said.

"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was shot at least five times in the head by Nathan Gale, according to The Associated Press. Three others were killed and more were injured in the nightclub before Gale was shot and killed by a Columbus police officer.

Here is a report from Blabbermouth.

DIMEBAG’s Family To Sue Columbus Club Over Deadly Shooting: Dec. 7, 2005

Kevin Landers of Columbus, Ohio’s WBNS-10TV has issued the following report:

A lawsuit is now expected to be filed, one year after a shooting spree at a north Columbus bar.

December 8th, 2004, Nathan Gale jumped on stage at the Alrosa Villa nightclub on Sinclair Road and opened fire.

He killed four people before a police officer killed him.

Now the club’s owner is the target of a civil lawsuit expected to be filed Thursday.

The attorney filing the suit told 10TV he intends to prove that if the nightclub’s owner had hired trained security guards, innocent victims would be alive today.

A night of heavy metal music turned into a night of terror when Nathan Gale got onto the stage with a loaded gun and began firing.

Four people were killed, including Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott of the band DAMAGEPLAN. Abbott’s family, along with two other people injured by flying bullets, are suing the bar’s owner.

Details of the lawsuit, obtained by 10TV, blame a lack of security for the bloodshed. Among the allegations: security at the bar was inept. Security guards identified Gale as a trespasser hours before the concert and failed to intervene. Overall, security was lacking according to the lawsuit, which also noted the bar had no metal detectors.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages in excess of $25,000. The Alrosa’s owner was not available for comment Wednesday. In earlier interviews, Eric Cautela admitted his security force wasn’t prepared to stop a man bent on killing.

"My security guards aren’t supposed to stop a bullet. They get paid 10 to 12 dollars and hour. They aren’t paid to take a bullet," Cautela told 10TV last June.

An extensive set of links for related posts and stories can be found over at KNAC.  http://www.knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=4091 

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Rest In Peace brother Dimebag

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