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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Dimebag Darrell: Sitting at God’s tavern, having a cold one with Randy Rhoads and Hendrix.

Metal kids everywhere were dismayed Thursday morning when they heard about the nightclub shooting in Ohio where Dimebag Darrell Abbott was fatally shot along with four others. Known for his whiskey drinking and strip club owning, the thought of a crazed gunman charging the stage to shoot him in the head five times isn’t the way most people would ever imagine he would go. Foxnews.com was quick to blame the incident on the bands ‘violent lyrics’ contacting artistically respectable musician Tommy Lee who answered to the accusations with a simple “that’s retarded.” Others are dealing with the tragedy not only as something ridiculous and upsetting for metal fans, but a profound personal loss as well.

“Dimebag was a dear friend of mine,” Ozzy Osborne said. “I’m absolutely beside myself with grief… Pantera toured with me many, many times. I’ll always remember the signed guitar that he gave me at my 50th 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.”

Perhaps the most brutal aspect of this mess is the fact that Dime’s brother Pantera/Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul was right on stage with him when the shooting occurred. In a statement he describes his brother as having a heart “twice as big as Texas.” Many fans got to know the members of Pantera through their three remarkably successful videos that essentially were home movies of friends drinking, hanging out, and paying large sums of money to watch their security guard consume raw eggs.

It’s the break up of Pantera that many are claiming motivated the shooter, Nathan Gale. Some present at the show claimed that Gale yelled something along the lines of “you broke up Pantera” before shooting Dimebag and four other parties, and then attempted to take a hostage. An Ohio police officer was able to shoot and kill him before his rampage continued further. In the days after the shooting, news stories are surfacing with claims that the gunman was “obsessed” with Pantera. Some sources cite friends of the gunman, who often claimed that the band had stolen lyrics from Gale. Owners of a tattoo parlor in Ohio have shared in interviews that Gale frequently tried to entice customers into geeky metal conversations and was painfully annoying and unwanted.

The focus on the break up of Pantera in the wake of the shooting should embarrass some journalists who were fixated on asking questions about the apparent feud between Dime and singer Phil Anselmo. A friend of Anselmo explains, “It’s sad that the media would irritate the situation so much. Countless times, I would listen in on Phil doing interviews. Always, always, always, the jackals wanted Pantera dirt.” He adds that Anselmo indicated regrettably that he had not spoken to Dime in three years. Phil apparently was not interested in any kind of official statement and asked only to post one specific picture: the two of them cozied and asleep in a blanket with the words “Darrell my brother. The best of the best.” For more metal legends cryin’ ‘n’ sobbin’ check out http://www.officialpantera.com/ with words from Tony Iommi, Rob Halford, Lemmy, Venom, Crowbar, Brian May, and of course a thick book from Lars Ulrich.