Remembering Dimebag Darrell Ten Years Later: Abysmal Dawn’s Charles Elliott
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, Charles Elliott, guitarist and vocalist for Abysmal Dawn, discusses the time he met Dime…
I actually met Dimebag at some point when I was a young’un at a signing at a NAMM convention. Being the punk kid I was at the time, I thought it would be funny to do my Phil Anselmo impression for him (which absolutely killed with my friends, of course). It was basically me reciting lines from 101 Proof in my best Phil-like drawl.
He looked like he was feeling pretty good (more than a few beers were sent his way while I was standing in line), so I figured I’d humor myself and, hopefully, him as well. Mind you, this was at some point in-between Pantera and Damageplan, so I really meant it as no disrespect or shit talking. As far as I knew at that point, Pantera was still a band and there was no beef between him and Phil.
So I get to the front of the line, he signs my poster and I say, “Hey man, you mind if I do my Phil impression for you?” He says, “Sure go ahead, man,” and I went ahead with his blessing. I launch into the whole bit: “We got the goddamn cameras on yah… fucking Dime, fucking Vince… our hit? This IS our hit… can’t you see, you ready? 1,2,3,” etc. He just looked at me with this big grin on his face and told me “Do it again man, intp the camera.” He filmed everything back then, so I did it again with his camera guy laughing as he filmed. In the end he said, “I don’t know what you want me to say man, I’ve never seen anything like it.” He honestly seemed more than amused about it. I asked him how the new Pantera album was coming along and he said, “We’re working on stuff.” I got my poster signed, thanked him, and left with the memory of a really cool and humble musician that put up with a smartass kid like myself.
When I first heard Dimebag died, I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was just some bad internet rumor like you see perpetuated online so often now. Who would want to murder such a wonderful and humble person? It didn’t make sense, and it still doesn’t make sense. He always made time for his fans — and that was no act, as I had learned first-hand.
We’ve played the venue in Columbus, OH where he was shot down [Alrosa Villa] a few times since then. The first time we played there, it felt like a big deal, and like we should say something. I tried to let the crowd know that it was more important that he LIVED on that stage than that he died on it. I felt it was sort of weird remembering someone for something horrible that happened; and I still think it’s weird remembering someone on the day they died, like today. Nevertheless, the good people at MetalSucks asked me to write a few words, so here I am trying to pay tribute to this down to earth man that changed the face of metal.
I didn’t know him well, but Pantera’s music meant a lot to me, and it’s songs like “Regular People (Conceit)” that made me want to play guitar and possess the tone of the metal gods. So raise your glasses and cheers to Dimebag, motherfuckers, and all he did for our metal world! He’s sorely missed, no matter what moment in time we’re currently in.