RIP Dimebag Darrell

Dimebag AngelI do not know what to write. Seriously, I have no idea. I just feel like I have to write something on this the 7th anniversary of the passing of Dimebag Darrell, who is best known as being one of the founding members of Pantera.

I still remember the first time that I heard Pantera. We used to have a local radio show called For Rockers Only. They were on something like a Saturday night from midnight to 2:00 AM or something like that. I would tune in every week and record the songs on an audio cassette so that I could play back the good ones and make some greatest hits cassettes out of the tracks that they played. Most of the songs were barely even metal and most of them were horrible anyway, but I still tuned in. Back then, you were lucky to get some glam metal on the radio in our area.

Anyway, one Saturday night, the DJ said that they had a new track from a Dallas, TX band and he had never heard anything like it before. The album was coming out in the next few weeks, but he was able to play the track before the release. I hit record on the boombox and waited not expecting to hear much. The track being played was Cowboys from Hell.

Dimebag DarrellI listened intently as the opening riff came out. If was pretty damned awesome, but I had no idea what was about to come my way when the main riff of the song came on. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was absolutely floored by it. I listened to the entire song and could not believe what I just heard. I quickly turned off the radio after the song ended and listened to Cowboys From Hell again… and again… and again. I listened to it at least 20 times before I tried to go to bed, but I could not even sleep. I laid in bed, unable to sleep, so I reached for the cassette and my Walkman and played it about 20 more times. I never did sleep that night.

When it was a decent hour to start knocking on friends’ doors, I started to do so and asked if they had listened to For Rockers Only last night. No one had. I got my boombox out and played the song over and over for everyone. We were all into it, but no one was floored by it as much as I was.

Once the album came out, I had to pick up the cassette and I wore the hell out of it. To this day, none of my friends are into Pantera as much as I am, but everyone respects the hell out of them. I think that part of my obsession is that I was a guitar player as well and Dimebag’s style was amazing. His riffwork was sweet and his tone was second to no one at that time.

Anyway, for not knowing what to write, that was actually really easy. I would love to hear some of your Dimebag Darrell or Pantera stories on this day of remembrance.