i'll never forget that frigid december morning in '04, waking up to the howard stern show, anticipating laughs but being met by a morose and solemn tone among the personalities.
dimebag darrell, pantera guitarist, shot dead at a gig by a disgruntled and disturbed fan who was upset that the musician had taken up with a side project, damageplan. fucked my world up. comedian jim florentine (special ed from crankyankers and a close friend of the pantera guitarist), was on the brink of sobbing, solemnly admitting that he'd spent the night before the shooting boozing with dimebag and signing autographs. he couldn't attest enough to the kindness and fun-loving nature of the wild haired maniac.
maybe this shouldn't have meant much to me, but it was only nine months prior that i'd had my own pantera epiphany of sorts. after wandering around our college town causing problems at 5am, timemachine and i returned to "the House," still looking for trouble, swayed out of our minds and not even able to pronounce the word "sleep."
so what do we do?
we head for the rooms of those who could pronounce it, chanting "so small!" (the chinpokomon episode of south park had just aired that week), blaring pantera on our friend's surround sound system at sunrise, pounding kentucky gentleman, and trying to score more tour support.
our fervent, cro-magnon ceremony would lead the stevo to rip the cords out of the speakers in a sleep-deprived rage.
"go to bed you guys!" he shouted, all long faced. test in three hours?
cast away like children. just the way we like it.
good times. and given those good times, and others that would involve those guitar heroics, hateful lyrics, and hard intoxicants, the death of dimebag (like b.i.g. and pac before him) was more or less an equivalent of the kennedy assassination for me. or lennon if you wanna take that route, but i like my jfk reference better.
where were you the day it happened?
dimebag. you will be missed.
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