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Dimebag Darrell Abbott

During his short, spectacular life — he was just 38 years old the night he was shot by a deranged fan — as a guitar god with the bands Pantera and Damageplan, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was a living, breathing, walking, talking, and yes often drinking — heavy metal caricature.

Abbott was murdered on December 8, 2004 — 24 years to the day after John Lennon was shot. Abbott was performing with his new band Damageplan onstage in a Columbus, Ohio nightclub at the time.

As a scrawny guitar prodigy barely big enough to hold the instrument — let alone play it as well as he did — few predicted he would one day join the ranks of the rock stars he idolized as a kid growing up in Texas.

But once he did, Dimebag Darrell lived the rock and roll lifestyle to the fullest. He was rarely seen without a guitar or his signature drink, a mixture of whiskey and coke, called a Black Tooth Grin, nearby. The Dimebag drinking stories are legendary.

With Pantera, Abbott went from playing keg parties in Texas to platinum albums, sold-out arena tours, and guitar magazine covers. The band's eventual fall was a messy breakup fought out in the pages of the music press between the Abbott brothers and former vocalist Phil Anselmo. Dimebag's fans continue to remember him at blogs like Dimebag Eternal.

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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