Friday, December 10, 2010

Remembering Darrell Abbott

Yesterday was the much publicized 30th anniversary of John Lennon's untimely death.  While the event took place before I was alive, it was a black day in our popular culture history, and surely one that will never be forgotten.  The Beatles are arguably the most influential musicians of all-time, and his death shook our nation.  On the same date in 2004, another influential musician was taken from us way too soon, former Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Abbott, was getting ready to play his set with Damageplan, (a band he played guitar in after the demise of Pantera) when Nathan Gale, a crazed fan rushed up on stage, and fired several rounds into Abbott, killing him.  He killed five others on that December Ohio night.  The death toll would have likely been higher if an off-duty police officer hadn't taken the call, and killed Gale.

Another senseless tragedy by a guy who decided he was going to kill a heavy metal legend, and anyone else who stood in his way.  Just like the psychopath that opened gunfire on Lennon, the world was robbed of a great musician who died entirely too soon.

While the band Pantera is far from a household name to most people, for a metalhead like me, they are a major influence in most of the bands I love.  Pantera helped put heavy metal in the mainstream in the 90's.  Their 1994 album "Vulgar Display of Power," debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, a feat almost unheard of for a metal band.  They have also brought us classic tracks like Walk, This Love, and Cemetary Gates.

So don't forget that on the day we lost John Lennon, we also lost Darrell Abbott, and his remarkable guitar riffs.  Heavy Metal will never be the same, thanks to his contributions.  Rest in Peace, Darrell.  Oh, and I hope you burn in hell, Nathan Gale.

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