December 8, 2004: ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott Murdered During Damageplan Show
Nineteen years ago today, Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was murdered on stage during a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio.
Rock and roll is littered with shocking tales of musicians whose lives were cut far too short. In the case of Abbott, the fact that his life was taken away while he was doing what he loved most adds to his tragic end.
Abbott exemplified the passion of not just metal musicians but also metal fans. Metal ran through his blood and was famously tattooed on his chest. It takes a special kind of fan to have Ace Frehley’s face inked on your chest, and then have KISS’s Spaceman autograph said tribute and then have an artist tattoo over Frehley’s signature.
Here’s further proof of Abbott’s fandom and the respect other guitarists had for him. Not only is he buried in a KISS Kasket, he’s also buried with Eddie Van Halen’s original 1979 black and yellow Charvell “Bumblebee” guitar. The guitar was gifted to Abbott’s longtime girlfriend, Rita Haney, by Eddie himself.
In life and in death, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott remains one of metal’s biggest champions and ambassadors. His influence continues to reverberate through countless guitarists and bands and will do so for decades to come.
Honoring Dime Today
Perhaps the biggest tribute to “Dimebag” and his late brother, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, is currently ongoing. In July 2022, it was announced the surviving members of Pantera — singer Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown — were embarking on a tour in 2023. Shortly after this news broke, it was revealed Zakk Wylde and Charlie Benante would be filling out the Pantera reunion tour on guitar and drums.
Wylde perhaps put it best in an interview following the news of his involvement in the tour. He said, “If you ask me, it’s a beautiful thing. You’re celebrating Vinnie and Dime’s greatness and you’re celebrating all the mountains that Pantera conquered and crushed.”