Remembering Dimebag Darrell: Jeff Kendrick

On this, the 10th anniversary of the legendary Pantera and Damageplan axeman Dimebag Darrell’s death, we’re remembering the legend. All Axess founder and former DevilDriver guitarist Jeff Kendrick had this to say:-

Jeff Kendrick

Jeff Kendrick

I remember exactly where I was on this tragic day a decade ago. I cannot believe how fast the time has flown by. 10 years is a long time but it still feels like it was exactly yesterday.

Something as horrific as the murder of Dimebag is just too hard to comprehend. I still feel that it isn’t real, that it just cannot be, but unfortunately it is. I have come to terms with it over the years and even though I never knew him, I still feel a real connection to him through his music and the legacy that he has left.

On December 8th, 2004, DevilDriver were recording our 2nd record, The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hand at Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, TX. It was late evening (as most of the hours in the studio were.) Colin Richardson and I were recording some guitar parts. I’m not exactly sure which song we were recording but were deeply into the guitar tracking of the album at this point.

Out of nowhere, Dez came into the studio and told us there was a shooting at a Damageplan concert and that Dimebag was rumored to have been killed in the process. I immediately put the guitar down in disbelief and was just beside myself. Now mind you, this was before everyone had iPhones and although the internet was definitely no longer in the primitive stages, we had one computer to go online. I immediately went to Blabbermouth and saw the story unfolding.

After about an hour, I walked into the main residence and turned on CNN and on the scrolling ticker I saw “shooting at heavy metal band ‘Damageplan’ concert in Columbus, Ohio.”

I now knew that it was true. I just couldn’t believe it.

As I watched the press conference the following day, I heard the media asking questions about the incident as well as motives for the crime. There was a rumor that Nathan Gale screamed out “you broke up Pantera” before firing the fatal shots. The media asked the officer holding the press conference to corroborate these claims, which he was not able to.

The following weeks were just terrible, I was in a deep depression. I feel that we were able to put a bit more effort into the album because we had a bit of extra spirit and drive. I will never come close to the level of playing that Dime was on, but I push myself and strive to do the best I can every time I pick up the instrument.

He is truly my hero and I will miss him as long as I am still living on this earth. Rest in peace, Darrell Lance Abbott – you will be cherished forever.

We should also note that Nathan Bray, Jeff “Mayhem” Thomson and Erin Halk were also killed in the incident. I send my deepest condolences to them and their families. Today, all of their friends and loved ones are no doubt still mourning their loss.

Jeff Kendrick