Darrell Lance Abbott, also known by his stage names "Diamond Darrell" or "Dimebag Darrell", was born August 20, 1966 in Arlington, Tx. Darrell
is best known for being a key founding member in both Pantera and Damageplan.
Along with his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul (Abbott), the two formed Pantera in 1981. Although there were a few different incarnations
of the band, the official line up would
include bassist Rex Rocker and vocalist Terry Glaze / Terrence Lee. For much of the
eighties Pantera had more of a glam metal sound, but by 1985, with the release of Pantera's third album, 'I am the Night', the songs were
beginning to take on a more heavier approach. The band released three independent albums before Terry Glaze
decided to leave the band. After trying a couple of different vocalists, the band finally found the perfect fit in Phil Anselmo. In 1988
Pantera released their first and only independent record with
Phil. The album, entitled "Power Metal", sold approximately 50,000 copies without the help of a major label. Overall, Pantera were
quite successful as an independent band, selling more than 125,000 copies collectively. While bands like Slayer,
Megadeth, and Metallica helped shape Pantera's musical direction, the band eventually created their own post-thrash, "groove" metal sound.
In 1989, Megadeth vocalist / guitarist Dave Mustaine asked Darrell to join the band. Darrell was interested only if his brother Vinnie
could come along, however, Mustaine had just asked drummer Nick Menza to join. Darrell decided to pass.
In 1990, Pantera released their major label debut, "Cowboys from Hell". The album was successful for a metal release, but
it was not until their breakthrough album "Vulgar Display of Power" that the band began to achieve major success. In
1994, Abbott began to go by the nickname "Dimebag Darrell".
By the mid-90's, the band began to suffer from internal tensions, mostly due to the fact
that Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo had become a heroin junkie . In 2003 Pantera broke up and Anselmo
began to focus his energy on his other bands like Superjoint Ritual and Down.
In 2004, Vinnie and Darrell formed Damageplan. Damageplan was a heavy metal band much in the musical direction of Pantera. The band featured
guitarist Pat Lachman on vocals and Bob Zilla on bass. Damageplan's debut album, "New Found Power" was released in the United States in
February of 2004. This album reached the number 38 spot on the Billboard 200, selling nearly 45,000 copies within the first week of it release.
On December 8, 2004, Damageplan was performing a live show at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio when Darrell was murdered by
Nathan Gale, who shot Abbott five times on stage. Many people, including Vinnie Paul, believe that Phil Anselmo is partly responsible
for Dimebag's death. The vocalist was quoted in an interview, published just days before the guitarist was shot, saying that Dimebag
deserved to be severely beaten. Anselmo was told not to attend the funeral and Vinnie, to this day, has still not spoken to him.
Darrell was buried at Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlingon, Texas. He is buried beside his mother, resting with Eddie Van Halen's
Charvel Hybrid VH2.
Cool fact: Darrell invented his own drink known as the "Black Tooth Grin". How to make a Black Tooth Grin:
This drink is a cocktail consisting of Crown Royal, with just enough Coca-Cola to turn the drink dark brown. The name of the
drink comes from a lyric in the Megadeth song "Sweating Bullets" - "Some day you too will know my pain, and smile its blacktooth grin"
Dimebag Darrell Gear
Guitars & Pickups
Darrell was best known for playing his Dean ML guitars, equipped with Bill Lawrence L500XL pickups (in reversed position, where the "hot blade" was facing the neck.
In 1995, Dean Guitars went out of business and Darrell teamed up with Washburn guitars, creating two signature models, the "Dime 333" and the "Stealth".
Although Seymour Duncan & Darrell codesigned a pickup, the SH-13 Dimebucker, the guitarist continued to use his Bill Lawrence setup.
Before his death, Darrell ended his relationship with Washburn and joined forces with the return of Dean Guitars. As of today, Dean now produces over 30 different Dimebag models.
Darrell used Randall RG100ES / RG100HT heads and cabinets during the 80's and up through "Cowboys from Hell". He later used them again on the
"The Great Southern Trendkill" recording.
For the "Vulgar Display of Power" and "Far Beyond Driven" recordings, Darrell switched to Randall Century-200II heads and cabinets. He used them again
when the band recorded "Reinventing the Steel".
After Pantera, Darrell began using Randall Warhead X2 heads and cabinets to record and tour with his latest project New Found Power.
Just before his death, Darrell switched to Modified Krank Revolution heads / cabinets and was in the process of putting out his own creation, the Krankenstein.
Do you know more about what gear Dimebag Darrell used / uses? Please
Dimebag Darrell Discography
Pantera - Independent Era
Metal Magic (1983)
Projects in the Jungle (1984)
I Am The Night (1985)
Power Metal (1988)
Pantera - Signed Era
Cowboys from Hell (1990)
Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
Far Beyond Driven (1994)
The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)
Official Live: 101 Proof (1997)
Reinventing the Steel (2000)
Dallas Stars: Greatest Hits (2003) Punk-Off
The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits! (2003)
Reinventing Hell: The Best of Pantera (2003)
New Found Power (2004)
Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) (2003)
Side of a Bullet (2005) (Dimebag sample)
David Allen Coe
Rebel Meets Rebel (2004)
Songs with Anthrax
Stomp 442 (1995) Kingsize and Riding Shotgun
Volume 8: The Threat Is Real (1998) Inside Out and Born Again Idiot
Inside Out (EP) (1998) Inside Out
We've Come for You All (2003) Strap It On and Cadillac Rock Box
Pantera US Record Sales Achievements
Vulgar Display of Power - 2X Platinum
Far Beyond Driven - Platinum
Cowboys from Hell - Platinum
The Best of Pantera - Platinum
The Great Southern Trendkill - Platinum
Reinventing the Steel - Gold
Official Live - Gold