I have two vivid memories of Dimebag Darrell from 2004.
I unfortunately missed the last Pantera tour to ever happen. I can’t recall if it was school or just not having a ride at the time, but the concert came and went and I remember being bummed out, but that I would see them the next time around.
Fast forward to the Damageplan tour in 2004 at the House of Blues in Orlando. Trivium had finished recording our album Ascendancy and we were waiting around for a tour to come about, so Corey and I went to the show. I can’t recall how we got on the guest list, but we made it down and went in got to see Dimebag in all his glory. A wall of cabs blasting, shredding solos, booze flowing on and off stage – it was everything I pictured it would be.
The moment that I remember most, however, was standing on the loading dock near the bus, and here he comes, the legend himself, Mr. Dimebag Darrell. I was 19 years old, we were a no-name band which was at the absolute infancy as a national touring act, so I didn’t have any idea how to approach someone like this, someone so well known and respected. It’s a shame to think I had the chance to say something and did not, but it’s the way it is and I am happy to say I at least had the chance to briefly be in the presence of true musical greatness.
The second memory was on the night of Dimebag’s murder. We were sitting around playing video games when a text came in with the news. It seemed fake, like some sort of terrible rumor that spreads and is then disproven within a few hours. This, however, wasn’t the case as we turned on the news. “Heavy metal guitarist murdered,” said the headline at the bottom of the news report showing the crime scene. Alrosa Villa. I’ll never forget that name, we only played it twice and never again after the murder.
I guess the thing that always lingers with me – for all fans really – is what the future might have been for him, for Pantera, and really for all of us left behind without him. Metal music was most certainly changed after that night. There will never be another Pantera, and there will surely never be another Dimebag Darrell.