8 years ago today in Columbus, Ohio a lone gunman by the name of Nathan Gale inexplicably took to the stage during a Damageplan gig and shot and killed Dimebag Darrell Abbott. The band’s head of security Jeff Thompson also died during the incident attempting to subdue Gale as well as a member of the audience attempting to save the lives of both Dimebag and Thompson.
With numerous casualties including Damageplan’s tour manager and drum tech, John Brooks. Brooks was taken as a hostage by the gunman by being put in a headlock. It was the bravery of Officer James Niggemeyer that spared further loss of life.
To this day the reasons behind the gunman’s actions is unknown but it is speculated that he believed Pantera to be stealing his songs. Regardless of the reason, Dimebag is a great loss to metal and music as a whole in an incident that should never have occurred.
Dimebag formed Pantera back in 1981 with his brother Vinnie Paul. After 9 long years Pantera released their best known, and arguably best album Cowboys From Hell. The album’s title track, Cowboys From Hell, is home to one of the meatiest riffs you’ll ever find in heavy metal and the 7min epic Cemetery Gates will be forever remembered as my personal favourite Pantera song of all time!
Years later Pantera took an extended break during which time Dimebag formed Damageplan, again with his brother Vinnie Paul and began touring the clubs around the United States during which time the shooting took place.
Dimebag Darrell is remembered fondly by both his fans and his peers. Taken from us far too soon because of the mental instability of one man he is one of the greatest metal guitarists of all time and he will never, ever be forgotten. Dimebag, we salute you!