Friday, December 10, 2004


It is events like this that bring home to me how very vulnerable my favourite artists can be.

I am speaking of the murder of Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott, from Damageplan, formerly of the mega band Pantera. A person, an ex-Marine, walked into a venue carrying a concealed semi-automatic weapon ( a Berretta, not a small weapon), took at least one person hostage, shot three bystanders, and then walked onto the stage. Damageplan was playing to a crowd of less that 300, and they watched this guy put four bullets into Dimebag in cold blood.

I am in some ways sorry that a cop took out the gunman, because we may never know what the motivation was now, but I am not sorry the bastard is dead. I only met Dimebag a few times, very briefly, but he was not such a creep that he deserved to die in this manner. He has a wife and kids in the DFW area, and friends in the music industry throughout the world. My brother Dave and his fellow band members in Machine Head are among them. Everyone I know who has any knowledge of metal music is stunned and very much saddened. It was unreal when John Lennon was shot down, and I knew it within an hour or so. It was unreal when Stevie Ray Vaughn went down in flames, and I knew that almost as fast. I was never a fan of either Pantera or Damageplan, and I am still stunned.

I understand why many people who are famous would prefer to be left alone, and may even go so far as to hide away. I am afraid for those I care about, because there is obviously no limit to the danger they put themselves in when they choose to perform in public. I love going to live music events, but I would give it up in a heartbeat if I knew it would protect those I love. There are just enough people out there who think only of themselves and their own opinions to be absolutely dangerous to performers. Sadly, they cannot be contained to the confines of an arena, where they might be caught. They could walk up to someone on the street and do the exact same thing.

Light a candle for Dimebag, even if you didn't know him or his music. Say a gentle prayer for his family, and bandmates, who have to go on without him now. Remember when you do, for want of better security and luck there go the musicians I love too.

Rest In Peace, Dimebag Darrell.

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