Dimebag Darrell and Alrosa Villa - Ten Years Later | Fanboys Anonymous

Dimebag Darrell and Alrosa Villa - Ten Years Later

Posted by Eddie Siqueira Wednesday, December 10, 2014
For some odd reason, 2014 turned out be the year for nostalgia. 10th anniversary this, 20th anniversary that; and as we near the final weeks before turning the proverbial page, another anniversary has passed. Nowhere near as pleasant as a '20 years of Forrest Gump' or celebrating the release of Soundgarden's 1994 seminal album Superunknown, but rather, an anniversary that did not raise enough eyebrows given its relevance to the issue of gun control. Guitarist Dimebag Darrell was killed on December 8th 2004 in Columbus, Ohio, while performing onstage at the Alrosa Villa club.

Dimebag Darrell confederate washburn live pantera cowboys from hell

Anyone who has had a taste of heavy metal knows who Pantera were. Without a doubt one of the top 10 most influential heavy metal bands of all time. What is arguable, however, is that Pantera's Dimebag Darrell was the greatest heavy metal guitar player of all time. Rhythm—check: he had attitude, style and conjured for too many memorable riffs. Pantera's first commercially successful release Cowboys From Hell (1990) is proof enough to showcase this phenomenon, let alone the rest of their catalog. Solos—check: melody, speed, shred, bends, whammy bars, finesse, harmonies, etc. Simply put, he could sing, yell, rap, and start fires with the strings. Dimebag was the essence of Pantera and the modernization of heavy metal from fast thrashing, galloping guitars to a thicker, heavier and meaner un-reverbed variation which took the metal world by storm in the early 90's. Don't let the banality of MTV's grunge extravaganza fool you—there was a lot more going on than Nirvana in guitar land at that point.

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Tear down this wall: Pantera perform the first heavy metal concert alongside AC/DC and Metallica in Russia
since the fall of the Berlin wall (L-R: Dime, Rex Brown, Phil Anselmo, Vinnie Paul).
Pantera had a good run with nearly fifteen years of success before giving in to inner turmoil and whatever else bands go though. By 2003, Dimebag had formed Damageplan with his drummer brother Vinnie Paul (also formerly of Pantera). They enjoyed only a timid success in comparison to Pantera, but had a good thing going. Then, for no discernible reason, Dimebag was shot onstage by a psychotic fan who had a history of mental illness and prescribed meds in his system (or lack thereof). Why he had a gun, is the real issue.

Dimebag Darrell zakk wylde guitar world camouflage assault rifle machine gun
I won't turn this into a case study, but as a non-American looking in, I (and almost everyone abroad) see these situations as absolutely preventable. Guns are something only the police or an army should have, not your average civilian. Though I understand and respect that the United States was founded on amendments, a musket in 1776 is quite different from a semi-automatic over two centuries later.

What's even more bizarre is that there are other countries with far more liberal gun laws rarely see these random shootings occurring. Switzerland for instance, where guns are part of the culture has one of the highest ownership ratio for firearms in the world and yet only a few isolated incidents such as suicides (mostly) and crimes of passion are reported (in which 90% of these cases include a gun). A referendum was held in 2011 for stricter gun control—the population voted against it, even though statistics showed that the violent death rate would plummet significantly.

Dean Guitars dimebag darrell pantera zakk wylde james hetfield marilyn manson six string masterpieces joe satriani paul booth chester bennington kerry king
Dean Guitars's Six String Masterpieces event with tribute paint jobs

Zakk Wylde Eddie Van Halen Dimebag Darrell tribute event
Zakk and Eddie hug it out days after
the death of Dime at a tribute event.
So what could cause such rampage in the U.S.?

Countless shooting incidents occurred before that night, and many more have happened since. Yet, there appears to be an insatiable desire to keep the dubious freedom of guns alive.

"Dimebag suffered a fatality", I remember reading ten years ago with a clenched throat as I poured over the developing story.

Many people immediately jumped to the defense of heavy metal as the media, yet again, scrutinized the music for ill intent (we have seen this with Marilyn Manson, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, and heck, even The Beatles in their day).

Alrosa Villa Columbus Ohio December 8th 2004 Dimebag Darrell Damageplan Vinnie Paul Pat Lachman Bobzilla
Fans mourn Dimebag at a makeshift shrine
outside the crime scene.
Yet, in camo-pants and posing in Guitar World with a rifle alongside Zakk Wylde a mere year before, the true Texan Dimebag Darrell celebrated the very culture that killed him. John Lennon never did, and yet, he was gunned down in liberal New York City, and his favorite pastime was singing of peace. The fact remains that Dimebag Darrell suffered a stupid death, one hundred percent unnecessary. Blame the system, blame the meds, blame guns, blame Nathan Gale who was eventually gunned down by the police after taking Dimebag's and three others' lives that night at the Alrosa Villa club. Maybe nothing can be done, and that's the way it has to be.

RIP Dimebag Darrell rest in peace

Whether he'd be onstage or in his Kiss casket buried alongside Van Halen's legendary Charvel hybrid a.k.a. bumblebee Frankenstrat, Dime's music rings on forever. Leave your thoughts in the comments. Getcha pull!


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