Saturday, December 8, 2007

Three Years Ago Today...

...I was in Boulder, CO with my boss meeting up with our users and planning what would be needed for us to build our business. We were driving around looking for a place to eat when news came over the radio that Damageplan/Pantera guitarist Darrel "Dimebag" Abbott had been shot and killed at the Alarosa Villa in Columbus, OH by some yahoo with a gun.

I was in complete shock. My boss was complaining about his usual things (family, work, funding, etc) and I viciously and rudely cut him off in mid-sentence and cranked the radio loudly to hear the news . I don't remember who was giving details but it was someone who was there when it happened and had some official interaction with Damageplan. My whole evening and next day were shot. I was really angry at the outcome, and actually felt a loss for a man who I didn't even really know.

The way we communicated was through music. Funny thing was I didn't really like what he had to offer when Pantera first came out. I was into all of the alt-rock bands of the era. It wasn't until my drummer introduced me to them by offerinng up one of their songs to cover in our set. I had never heard of them before, but, sure I'll cover a song as long as we got to play 4000 Smashing Pumpkin songs . He told me what track number to check out and gave me the Far Beyond Driven disc. I went home that night and played a cover of Black Sabbath's Planet Caravan at home. I was like "Uhm, dude...are you sure we want to play this song? This has no drums on it." So, figuring he was mistaken I played through the whole CD trying to find a song that I thought would work. I quickly realized we couldn't play 99% of the songs because they were pretty difficult and neither guitar player in the band had the chops to play the solos. I also knew we couldn't sing any of the songs because neither vocalist, which were also the guitar players, which were also the founding members, which were both me and Ricky, couldn't scream like that. The next day I walked up to him and told him my findings and he stopped and apologized for handing me the wrong disc . It was supposed to be a track from the Vulgar Display of Power record. DOH!

He handed me the record a few days later and I went home and checked it out. After playing through it a few times, I felt this was something we could probably play. Other than the fact there's really no audible bass on the record, there were some really good songs on there along with some good singing. We never got around to covering Hollow due to some reason or another, but the experience laid the groundwork for me to dig deeper into their musical and video catalog.

After Pantera split up and Damangeplan came about, I was thrilled to see that they were playing smaller clubs and being more accessible to fans. I had seen Pantera a few times on the Ozzfest tours but it was a million miles away. Since I was in Boulder, I couldn't see them when they played Chicagoland. That chance is no longer possible. *sigh*

RIP Dime. Thanks for the great music and giving inspiration to me and many other musicians out there playing the music they love.

Currently listening :
The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboy’s Vulgar Hits
By Pantera
Release date: 23 September, 2003

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