Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009...5 years later

(Dime collage photo, The Clubhouse Dallas, TX.)

From: chris.kain@---.com>
To: <tom.trakas@---.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 7:25 AM
Subject: RIP Darrell Abbott
(no message)

From: tom.trakas@---.com>
To: <>@---.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 8:25 AM

I'm just getting in the office...are you kidding??

From: chris.kain@---.com>
To: <tom.trakas@---.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 8:29 AM
100% serious. He was shot on stage 5 times in Columbus, OH last night.

12.8.05 : So that’s how I found out. We’d just moved into our new house a few days earlier and I was on vacation from work. We had no TV or no internet and obviously the radio is useless but December 9th was my first day back to work. I opened up my email to find that above. My first thought was that of regret. There was a Damageplan/Shadows Fall show that just happened a few weeks earlier but I was way too busy getting ready to move. Honestly, even if I weren’t knee deep in boxes and packing I probably wouldn’t have gone to the show. I had heard the Damageplan record and don’t even think I made it through the whole thing once, that was until 12/8/04.

In fact I missed the big picture when it came to Pantera altogether. I remember reading about them in Metal Forces, I remember the horrible looking (independent/pre ATCO) album covers but nothing made me want to check them out. I can remember being in Phoenix back in 1991 and going into Tower Records with a friend, he bought ‘Cowboys From Hell’ and I bought ‘Blessed Are The Sick’. Listening to ‘CFH’, fuck, I thought it sucked! The vocals were horrible and the rest I cannot even remember because I couldn’t get past or take Philip “Geoff Tate” Anselmo serious.

Never saw the band live back in the day, in fact I didn’t see them live until 1994 and I still don’t own ‘CFH’… But back to the story…so after not liking what I heard I didn’t give them much thought. Something was obviously “there” though because I can clearly remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard ‘Vulgar Display of Power’, no take that back, when I first heard “A New Level” because after that song I didn’t want to hear the rest of the album, I needed to hear that riff again and again and again.

From that point on I was interested in hearing what the band would come up with and respected most of the people who played in the band. The albums and tours that followed always got better and better and of course there were the videos. The greatest Metal home videos, ever. Fucking period, case closed. So when the books closed on Pantera I was at least happy to have enjoyed the hell out of those shows, man, when they were “on” it was pretty awesome. In 2005 and one year on, it’s still very strange. It’s still weird that the feeling of loss will probably always be somewhere inside, surfacing hard in early December and (hopefully) subsiding a bit as the year closes out.

Hard to say exactly why it perhaps will never leave? Is it because of the person and the loss of a gifted spirit that touched millions whether you physically “met” him or not? Or because of the way it happened? Regardless it still seems so fresh and unbelievable but the one thing that’s for certain, Dime left his mark on the World and he will always be one of the greats. Thanks for the music. I promise my children will know and respect your contribution to the soundtrack to their father’s life…Metal.

12.08.09 - I don't have much more to add. R.I.P. to those lives lost at the Al Rosa Villa and to those who have a void in their hearts, hopefully time has eased some of your pain.