News Segment


December 13, 2004

The death of Damageplan and Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who was shot and killed on Wednesday (December 8) in a Columbus, Ohio rock club just moments after Damageplan began their set, has continued to stun the rock community. Reactions and statements have poured in from all over the heavy rock scene, where “Dime,” as he was known, was one of its most popular, loved and respected figures.

Police are still looking to establish a clear motive for why 25-year-old Nathan Gale stalked onstage at the Alrosa Villa nightclub and fired several rounds at Abbott at close range. Gale killed three others and wounded two more before he was killed by a police officer who arrived on the scene. Also slain were 23-year-old concertgoer Nathan Bray, 29-year-old club employee Erin Halk, and 40-year-old Damageplan security chief Jeff Thompson. Wounded were Damageplan tour manager Chris Paluska, who remains in critical but stable condition, and band drum tech John “Kat” Brooks, who was released from the hospital on Friday (December 10).

The Associated Press reported on Friday that Gale once told a friend that Pantera stole his lyrics. Jeramie Brey said Gale once showed up at a friend’s house, saying he wanted to share songs he had written. Although the lyrics were taken from Pantera songs, Gale claimed he had composed them. Brey told the Columbus Dispatch, “He was off his rocker. He said they were his songs, that Pantera stole them from him and that he was going to sue them.”

Several reports described Gale as “obsessed” with Pantera, and speculation continues that he shouted something at Abbott about that band’s 2002 break-up before opening fire. According to, Gale was taking medication for mental health-related issues and was discharged from the Marines in November of 2003 after performing less than two of the standard four years of service.

Meanwhile, fans gathered outside both the club and Abbott’s Dallas, Texas home on Thursday (December 9) to pay tribute to the fallen musician, widely considered one of the best hard rock guitarists of the past 15 years, while musical colleagues and friends issued statements through representatives or websites expressing their shock, loss and grief.

Abbott’s brother and bandmate, Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, issued this statement on Friday: “With all his greatness and accomplishments on the guitar, DIME will be missed more for his giving personality, charisma, caring for others, love and most of all his HEART!! Twice as big as the state of TEXAS!!!!!!!!!!!! DIME gave it all everyday to each and every one of us and our lives have forever been hollowed without him…Thanks to all of you for reaching out to us in this time of our immeasurable loss. REST IN PEACE BROTHER DIME!!!!!!”

Ozzy Osbourne: “Dimebag was a dear friend of mine. I’m absolutely beside myself with grief. I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would do this. Pantera toured with me many, many times. I’ll always remember the signed guitar that he gave me at my 50 birthday party. My heart goes out to Dime’s family, his fans and the other innocent victims who were killed in this senseless tragedy. It’s just terribly, terribly sad.”

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich: “This is unbelievable. To sit here and talk about Darrell in the past tense seems so wrong, so unfair, so unjust, I don’t even know what to say…Darrell was incredibly warm, open, fun, nutty, forthcoming, talented, embracing, unpretentious, accommodating and he always had a very attractive innocence about him that obviously made him never threatening and always welcoming…much love and respect and thanks for letting me be a small part of your life and I know you are already having fun and throwing it down with Bon Scott, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Jimi (Hendrix), Cliff (Burton), and the rest of the musicians and troublemakers that you are hanging with so prematurely.”

Korn frontman Jonathan Davis: “Darrell and Pantera were one of the main reasons I joined a metal band. This is a tragic loss for the music community and to all who knew him. Korn is truly shaken and we want to send our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.”

Rob Zombie: “This is beyond shocking and horrible. I still can’t believe it is true…I had the pleasure of watching Darrell perform with Pantera easily over a hundred times. For those of you who never saw him, he was without a doubt the most dynamic guitarist on the face of the planet. He was truly one of a kind. A legend. Offstage, he was a cool, down-to-earth guy with the most bizarre sense of humor ever…no one can replace a giant talent like Darrell, he will be missed.”

Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst: “Last night was the 9/11 for metal to me and the metal community. Not only did Pantera inspire me to have the courage to express myself they were also one of my main motivations to form Limp Bizkit. I am sad beyond comprehension. I mourn for the loved ones of Dimebag and the others murdered. A living legend has been taken from us. Life has permanently changed for me as of last night. I believe everything happens for a reason and in no way do I understand the reason for this. I will be forever in his debt. RIP Dimebag.”

Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham: “We had the pleasure of touring three times with Pantera. They treated us so well on the road. We had some great times hanging out with them. They treated us with open arms, especially the brothers. Darrell lived the music. We feel terrible, and our hearts go out to his family, brother and father. He was a legend in this business, and an unbelievable musician. He will be missed by all.”

Disturbed: “It is with the utmost despair that we extend our condolences to the family and many friends of one of the greatest guitar players to ever walk the face of this earth, Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Not only was he an inspiration to anyone who ever picked up a guitar, but he was one of the most genuine, big-hearted individuals you would ever have the pleasure of meeting. Dime loved to have a good time, and was never satisfied until everyone else around him was having one too…to (Abbott’s wife) Rita, Vinnie Paul, and all of those who loved him so much, we extend our most heartfelt condolences…you will never be forgotten.”

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian: “He’s the type of guy that would do anything for his friends. He really did put his family and his friends first, and for him everyone was his family. Once you came into contact with Dimebag and became friends with that guy, it was a sacred bond. Once you shared drinks with that guy, you became a part of his extended family…he’s one of those few people I’ve met who was absolutely special in every way.”

The band and their management are asking that radio stations thinking about playing something from Damageplan’s 2004 debut album, >New Found Power, consider playing closing track “Soul Bleed.” The tune was Dimebag’s favorite on the record.

Courtesy of Launch