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Dimebag Darrell Abbott’s Birthday Remembered

Mick Hutson, Redferns

Today would have been late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott’s 44th birthday. There is a still raw scar across the heart of every metalhead that has existed since Abbott was murdered onstage in 2004 at the too-young age of 38. While Dime may be up in heaven — drinking a Black Tooth Grin and forming heaven’s metal house band with Slipknot‘s Paul Gray, Type O Negative‘s Peter Steele and Ronnie James Dio — he is not forgotten, nor will he ever be.

Metalheads are making sure that his legacy lives beyond his work on classic albums like ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ and ‘Cowboys From Hell,’ which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and changed the face of metal thanks to Dimebag’s signature, distinct-as-DNA riffs. Rare is the guitarist where you’d hear one note played by his fingers and know it’s him, but Dime was that type of player. That is why six years after his death, he remains as revered as ever, just as he should be.

Sirius/XM will celebrate Dime in a unique and loving way with their sixth annual March of Dimeday. For 24 hours, the satellite radio providers’ channel Liquid Metal will play everything Dime would want to hear if he programmed his own satellite radio station. Dime’s work in Pantera, Damageplan and Rebel Meets Rebel will be showcased, as will his collaborations with Anthrax and King Diamond and tribute songs from Machine Head, God Forbid and 2Cents. On top of that, the likes of Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Dime’s longtime gal pal Rita Haney, his brother and bandmate Vinnie Paul, Zakk Wylde, Gene Simmons, Rob Halford, Pantera security guru Big Val and others will share their fondest memories of a legend whose life was cut tragically short.

“It makes me, being the biggest Dime fan, in this type of position, very proud to do this,” Liquid Metal format manager and on-air talent Jose Mangin tells Noisecreep. “It’s my way of thanking him for everything he’s done to me in my life, directly and indirectly. As the dude in charge of Sirius/XM metal, there is not a more loved and requested band than Pantera. We have a fan-hosted show called ‘Listener Domination,’ and yes, we did name it after their song! Since the beginning of it, more real fans request Pantera than any other band.”

But it’s not just Dime’s grooved-out riffing that will stand the test of time — his character as a human being and a man will endure. “His Dime way of living and treating people will live on in the same way his music does,” Mangin says. “His credo and teachings live on and now I see his fans and his friends saying to themselves, ‘What would Dime do?’ This is how I live my life and after all these years of interviews with bands, they are doing the same thing. His positive influence in and outside of music is something that makes Darrell larger than any of his sick ass riffs could ever be.”

So today, we invite and implore you to take a listen to some of those sick riffs, because they are some of the best ever metal moments ever committed to tape. Crank ‘Becoming’ or ‘Cemetery Gates’ or ‘Walk’ and remember the first time those power grooves caused adrenaline to course through your bloodstream. Put on ‘Mouth for War’ and send up a prayer of thanks to the metal gods for the gifts they gave us known as Pantera and Dimebag Darrell.

Darrell Lance Abbott, you are missed. See you on the other side, brother.

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