Day In Rock 12/10: Special Edition Dimebag Darrell and the Ohio Concert Shootings
Compiled by Keavin Wiggins
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Special Edition Dimebag Darrell
Because the tragedy in Ohio has hit the rock and metal community so hard, our normal Day in Rock report will not appear today so we can bring you this special edition on tragic murder of Dimebag Darrell and three others at a Damageplan concert on Wednesday night. 

What follows are some updates from various sources on the tragedy.

The regular Day in Rock report will return on Monday. 

The latest facts known about the tragedy (see full story links to view the source articles): 

The Victims
Contrary to previous reports, it appears the reports that a second member of the band was also killed were false. 

KNAC.com posted an update with an official statement from Atlantic Records about the tragedy. 

Following the statement KNAC reported the following: The internal message from Atlantic sates the following first: 

"As we are sure you all have heard by now, our band Damageplan suffered a horrible tragedy last night at their show in Columbus. Guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed, as was their head of security, Mayhem (Jeff Thompson), and two fans. Chris Paluska from the band's management company is in critical but stable condition, and the band's drum tech, Cat (John Brooks), is expected to be released from the hospital tomorrow. - Click Here for the Full Story 

Houston Chronicle reports: An unlikely assortment of retired neighbors and young fans gathered Thursday outside the home of Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott, leaving flowers, a Confederate flag and a poster declaring him "the people's rock star."
The 38-year-old guitarist, who was fatally shot during a performance Wednesday night in Columbus, Ohio, was remembered in this semi-rural enclave as an approachable star who never strayed far from his roots in blue-collar Arlington. - Click Here for the Full Story 

London Free Press reports: [Dimebag's] death shook the heavy-metal music industry and fans flooded websites to share their grief. 

"It's going to be hard for people outside the metal world to understand, but this is as important as losing a president," said Mark Hunter, lead singer of the metal band Chimaira. 

Abbott "changed the way metal music was written with his guitar playing. I don't know anybody in a band who hasn't stolen a few guitar riffs from him," he said. 

A fan posting on the band's website read, "This is the worst day in metal history." 

"When you think of '90s heavy metal or hard rock, Pantera is one of these seminal bands. They are quoted today as influences by many bands," said Tom Calderone, MTV's executive vice-president. "Hard rock has lost a legendary guitar player." 

Pantera was nominated for Grammies for best metal performance in 1995 for I'm Broken and in 2001 for Revolution Is My Name. The video The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys' Vulgar Hits hit the top 10 for music-video sales earlier this year; another video, 3-Watch It Go, went top-10 in 1998. - Click Here for the Full Story 

The gunman
The shooter's name is Nathan Gale, 25, of Marysville, Ohio. 

Rolling Stone reports: Gale was an employee for a temp agency who was on medication for mental-health issues. Brandy Brown, the bartender at a local bar Gale frequented described him as "a hermit kind of guy. I think he lived with his mom." Lucas Bender -- the owner of Bear's Den Tattoo Studio, which Gale frequented constantly in past weeks -- said of the young man, "He kind of gave everyone a weird impression -- you know how some people just seem disturbed? . . . After he would leave, my friends and I would all talk and say, 'Gosh, what's wrong with that guy?" Gale was discharged from the Marines in November 2003 after less than two of the typical four years of service. - Click Here for the Full Story 

Blabbermouth reports: The gunman who fatally shot four people including DAMAGEPLAN (and former PANTERA) guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott at Columbus, Ohio's Alrosa Villa nightclub Wednesday night alarmed the club's workers before the gig, according to RollingStone.com. "He was hanging around trying to get in," manager Rick Cantella said. "We told him . . . that he had to pay to get in like anyone else. One of my loaders told him to leave . . . He was hanging around trying to talk to the members of the band, and he was shooed away." Just before the show, Nathan Gale, 25, jumped an eight-foot fence to get inside, and headed straight for the stage. "There were guys chasing him as soon as he got in," explained Cantella, "not because [they saw] he had a gun, but because he jumped this fence and didn't pay." - Click Here for the Full Story 

Houston Chronicle reports: Police are looking into reports that the gunman was upset about the breakup of the influential group Pantera, which Abbott formed in 1983 with his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, who was on stage but not injured in the rampage.

Police identified the gunman as Nathan Gale, 25, who listened to Pantera music to psyche himself up before football games.

"We may never know a motive for this, unless he left a note," Sgt. Brent Mull said. - Click Here for the Full Story

NBC4i.com reports: He served in the United States Marine Corps from February 2002 through November 2003, but did not serve his full term, Hollingsworth reported. The USMC would not give the circumstances of his discharge, Hollingsworth reported.

While some in the community said Gale had a quick temper, others said he was a good-natured person. - Click Here for the Full Story 

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Columbus police are trying to determine whether Nathan Gale, a 25-year-old semipro football player accused of killing DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was incensed because of last year's breakup of Mr. Abbott's previous band, PANTERA, one of the top metal acts of the 1990s. 

"He loved PANTERA. He was like weird, man, about his obsession with PANTERA," said Mike Norris, who frequents a tattoo parlor across the street from Mr. Gale's home in Marysville, a town about 25 miles from Columbus. "I knew the guy was out to lunch, but I can't believe this." - Click Here for the Full Story 

New York Times reports: It was also unclear whether anything more than coincidence was at play in the timing of the shooting. Mr. Abbott, a well-known figure in the national heavy-metal scene, was killed exactly 24 years to the night after the shooting of John Lennon on the Upper West Side of New York.
The police said they were chasing down tips that Mr. Gale had been acquainted with at least some of the band's members. 

"Without a note, it's possible that we'll never know why he did it," said Sgt. Brent Mull, a spokesman for the Columbus police. - Click Here for the Full Story 

The police officer that killed the gunman
Music.tinfoil.net reports: The officer who shot and killed Nathan Gale is James D. Niggemeyer. He was on patrol near the club when the 911 calls came in. He entered the club and shot Gale during an apparent hostage situation. Police have apparently obtained a video tape recorded by an audience member and are examining it now.  - Click Here for the Full Story 

CNN posted a transcript of a press conference by Sgt Brent Mull, Columbia, Ohio Police Department. Below are excerpt of his statement. (see the full story link for the full transcript, including press Q&A) 

He is a five-year veteran. He's assigned to this district on late watch. He entered through the rear of the facility. He was motioned to come in by someone inside and told that there was an active shooter inside. 

The officer was able to identify that active shooter obviously immediately. The officer was forced to engage in gunfire with this suspect. From what we understand, he did have a hostage. 

The officer was able to strategically gun this guy down before he was able to kill his hostage. And it appeared that he was about to kill his hostage when the officer basically put an end to it. - Click Here for the Full Story 

Tributes to Dimebag
We have set up a special tribute page where some of our writers remember Dimebag and what he meant to them, as well as some comments from Dimebag's friends and fellow musicians.  There is also a Fan Speak section where you can post your own tribute.

Here is the first tribute from antiMUSIC's DeadSun followed by tributes from Ozzy and Lars Ulrich. 

Thank You, Dimebag Darrell. Thank You So Much.
... by DeadSun

Many people believe that Rock and Roll will never die, and with good reason. Rock and Roll, as a musical genre, is well into its fifth decade, and no significant indicators exist that Rock and her offspring are losing any potency whatsoever. 

If as much can be said of Rock and Roll, the same can be said of Rock and Roll's rowdiest, most rambunctious child--- heavy metal. 

Heavy metal will never fade and go away. It cannot be stopped.

yet this past Wednesday, heavy metal lost one of its favorite sons.

On December 8th, 2004--- shortly after 10:00 pm--- Darrell Lance Abbott was one of five who were murdered in cold bold, at a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio. Heavy metal, its musicians, and its fans, lost one of its most dedicated peers on that night, and lost him as he was on stage, engaged in the righteous act of showing a crowd of people a fun night out. When news of the incident reached me via radio broadcast, I sat there numbed, blank, and with a jaw dropped like a fish out of water. 

As a "twenty-something", who's high school years occurred between 1990-1994, I rationalize the death of Dimebag Darrell as if part of my own past has been fired upon. Pantera's music--- particularly "Cowboys From Hell", "Vulgar Display of Power", and "Far Beyond Driven"--- furnishes me with so many fond memories; the people, the parties, the hell-riding. It lives in my mind--- engrained--- as one of the many soundtracks of my chaotic but certainly enjoyable teen years.

 For so many of us who were in our teens at the time, the music of Pantera helped to keep the flame of metal roaring throughout the nineties, at least among a broad audience, as grunge moved in as the "hard rock of choice" among younger Rock fans. To the extent that it did, it was rather like what Metallica did for thirty-somethings in the eighties, as hair metal rose to curry favor with mainstream hard Rock fans and record execs alike. Pantera's music was hard, driven, and rife with that unmistakably furious energy that metalheads celebrate--- and at the forefront of that sonic blitzkrieg was the hard-charging guitar fire that Dimebag laid down for the group. 

I'm not here to tell you that you have to like Pantera. I'm not here to argue that metal was lost without them, which it certainly wasn't. I AM here to tell you that Dimebag and company made enjoyable, crushingly heavy music that reached out to millions. For a percentage of those millions, Pantera served as the musical catalyst upon which many were set upon the path of heavy metal. From my observation post, Pantera helped to draw people into the ranks of heavy metal, and as a result discovered metal acts which they otherwise might have been ignorant of. 

In the grand scheme of things, that's an important contribution to make to a sound and a style that so many of us love--- and nobody can take that away from Dimebag Darrell--- not with all the bullets in the world. 


I know that so many of us want to pay our respects, albeit in our own small way. I guess this is my way of paying mine. 

Thank you so much, Darrell Lance Abbott. 

Thank you for picking up the guitar. 

Thank you for the years of contribution. 

Thank you for your dedication to the music we love.

I am not alone.

God speed, Darrell Lance Abbott (1966-2004). 


Ozzy Osbourne

Dimebag was a dear friend of mine. I'm absolutely beside myself with grief. I can't for the life of me understand why someone would do this. 

Pantera toured with me many many times. I'll always remember the signed guitar that he gave me at my 50th birthday party.

My heart goes out to Dime's family, his fans and the other innocent victims who were killed in this senseless tragedy. It's just terribly sad.
 - Ozzy


Lars Ulrich (Metallica) 

This is unbelievable. To sit here and talk about Darrell in the past tense seems so wrong, so unfair, so unjust, I don't even know what to say. My heart goes out to Vinnie, to their families, to the other band members, and to the families and friends of the other people that were killed or injured, in this f***ing senseless act of selfishness and stupidity.

There's a tendency in these f***ed up moments to use the word 'I' a lot and focus on one's own feelings of pity and shock... so instead let it just be known that thru these eyes Darrell was incredibly warm, open, fun, nutty, forthcoming, talented, embracing, unpretentious, accommodating and he always had a very attractive innocence about him that obviously made him never threatening and always welcoming. 

"Darrell and his brother were the cornerstone of musical adventures that were always groundbreaking, pushing boundaries, challenging to themselves and to their fans, respected by their peers and always true musicians' musicians, and today the rock world is worse off because of this untimely and senseless waste.


Click here to visit the special page for more tributes and to post your own.

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