Remembering Dimebag Darrell Ten Years Later: GWAR’s Pustulus Maximus
On December 8, 2004, Dimebag Darrell Abbott was brutally murdered while playing live with Damageplan. The already-legendary Pantera guitarist was just thirty-eight years old. Today, the tenth anniversary of his death, heavy hitters from throughout the metal world will honor this fallen icon on MetalSucks by sharing their favorite Dime riffs, solos, and, in some cases, personal remembrances. Below, Pustulus Maximus, guitarist for GWAR, discusses his favorite Dime solo:
When I think about Dimebag Darrel and the music that was created during his time with Pantera, I am flooded with fond memories of my youth, listening to music with friends, causing trouble — and I vividly remember my growing passion to play the guitar.
I first became aware of Pantera shortly after The Great Southern Trendkill was released. I still remember the first records I bought from the local heavy metal rock n’ roll shop, Soundhole in Richmond, VA. I knew I wanted to listen to heavier music but didn’t know where to start so I picked up three records –Sepultura’s Beneath the Remains, Obituary’s End Complete and Pantera’s Cowboys from Hell — because the names sounded cool and the album art and imagery looked a lot cooler than anything on the radio. These records changed my life, none more so than Cowboys from Hell.
The opening riff in the title track of the record launches into something you just can’t help but headbang to. It was raw, it was heavy, and it was full of energy. I stared at the cassette wheels turning until side A was finished. I was floored. To me it was the heaviest record I would own for years that didn’t rely on growls and blast beats to make it brutal, it just had something more. I was hooked.
I bought more records, I bought more magazines, I bought more videos… Listening to Dimebag’s playing and other heavy bands made me really want to play guitar. Watching them party and have fun in those insane home videos made me want to be in a band. I became passionate about my instrument and did whatever I could to get in a room with my friends and just jam out. I wanted to do what they were doing. At the time, the thought of actually being able to achieve these goals was so far away, but the spark was there, and it really pushed me to where I am in my career today.
Dime was an incredibly unique player as well, and hard to duplicate. I have heard many players flawlessly pull off plenty of Pantera material, but it’s still different in a way. There’s a feel to the way he’s bending notes and just blistering through the frets on the guitar that instantly tells you it’s him. That signature sound paved the way for many aspiring guitar players to want to stand out and develop their own style. The influence there is limitless, and Dime was, and is, one of the most important icons in heavy metal history.