12/8: REMEMBERING DIME 10 YEARS LATER
Today is the 10th anniversary of one of rocks greatest tragedies, the murder of the late Dimebag Darrell. I’m not going to lie and say I was super close with Dime. I didn’t spend much hang time with him as so many others in metal circles had. Outside of seeing Pantera live a bunch of times (including in a tiny club in Asbury Park NJ way before they broke) I only had limited experiences spending time with him. However one time I did was in 2003 when the Damageplan album had just been completed. I was on the air in NYC doing my metal show and the guys had just mastered their debut with that band a few blocks down the street. They came by and wanted to debut a track since they were dying to hear how it sounded on the radio. So the entire band walked up to my studio with their label rep with the understanding we would premiere one song and then they would split. Well that turned into the band spending the entire show in my studio and playing about 5 tracks from the album! This was well in advance of the release and the label was not thrilled. But we all had a blast drinking , sharing stories, and cranking the music. Dime was a guy that made you feel like you knew him forever if you spoke the same language. And since he had a tattoo of Ace Frehley on his chest we spoke the same language! Dime polished off a bottle of Jack that Zakk Wylde had left for me the week before. He wrote on the bottle “thanks for the Jack Eddie & Zakk”. I kept it and still have it. So glad I did because nobody could have ever dreamed in their worst nightmare what would happen to him a short time later. Something I truly loved about Dime and still love about Vinnie is that they are through and through rock fans. They would get up and jam with Poison just as easily as Slayer. They never cared about perceptions. They liked all kids of rock. When Vinnie was on TMS he was thrilled to sit with Styx. Many metal guys likely would shy away even if they like the band.
One thing sadly that hasn’t changed at all since Dime was murdered is security at shows, especially in a club setting similar to where he was killed. There was this big outcry when Dime was assassinated that this would signal the start to better security in clubs and venues in general. I have not seen that to be the case at all. Now granted it’s impossible to stop everything and we live in a world with many sick people, but today, 10 years later, I work in clubs all the time that have virtually no security or checkpoints. That still must change I think.
It’s cliche to say an artist will never be forgotten, but in the case of a few that truly is the case because of the impression they left on people and of course the stellar music they created. Dime is still everywhere. Guitar magazines, the annual events in his name, and of course his music, which has been embraced in more mainstream settings years later. It truly is remarkable and deserved how his name and legend has grown. RIP Dime, gone way too soon but far from forgotten.