Knowing full well that every other metal blogger was going to be writing about the five year anniversary, there probably isn’t anything I am going to say that hasn’t already been said today or in previous years. However, the more the day went by, the more I couldn’t let today end without saying what is on my mind.
Five years later, the tragic news the struck the hearts of millions of metal fans around the world continues to cause the same anguish it did back then. For many, Dimebag was a guitar and metal God, for others he was family and a friend that was taken unnecessarily.
Dimebag is one of my guitar heroes. I remember, vividly, when I found out Dimebag had been murdered on stage. It was the following morning on my way to the train station taking my regular commute to work when I heard the news. I was dazed, confused, angry, sad, and somewhat lost by the actions that went down. When I listen to Pantera and Damageplan, I still get pissed off about the whole thing. I often find myself asking the same question: Why? I can sit here and ponder why one of my inspirations was taken, but it won’t change anything. He is gone, it sucks, but at least we have his music.
I never had the opportunity to hear Pantera perform because school always got in the way or I was broke. I had given Damageplan to Viola the previous year as a holiday gift and I was hoping to go see the band perform one day. Now, I won’t ever have that chance.
As much as the metal world remembers Dimebag, I was reminded by a great article on Noisecreep about the totality of chaos and carnage that occurred on December 8, 2004. There were four people who died that day. It is say easy to remember Dimebag and forget the others, but Erin Halk, Jeff Thompson, and Nathan Bray were also the victims of stupidity. The book, A Vulgar Display of Power: Courage and Carnage at the AlRosa Villa, provides a detailed description of the events that transpired on that fateful evening.
More from Noisecreep:
The truth was amazing, inspiring and pretty much cast aside. Jeff Thompson, Erin Halk and Nathan Bray died trying to save lives. Each of these men recognized that they were facing an armed man who had just killed someone, yet they acted. Were it not for the courage and heroism of Thompson, a member of Damageplan’s security, almost certainly the killer would have murdered Dime’s brother, Vinnie Paul Abbott.
Nathan Bray, a fan, climbed onto the stage to give CPR to people he had never met. He tried to help and save lives. The 23-year-old skinny father of a three-year-old was no threat to the armed 270-pound murderer, yet as he was giving CPR, his eyes met those of the killer and moments later, a 9mm bullet shattered his sternum and took the life away. Erin Halk, a former Marine and security member for the Alrosa, agonized for three minutes as he tried to figure out a way to cease the carnage. At a point where the killer was reloading ammo, Halk made his move, rushing the killer in the hopes of overpowering him and freeing a hostage. Sadly, as he advanced, the killer lowered his weapon and fired five shots into Erin’s body, killing him.
In memory, of Dimebag…