Fan Accounts of Dimebag Darrell's Memorial Service in Arlington
By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 @ 1:00 PM
From Elbert A. Guerra:
Hello, just wanted to let you know about the memorial service for Dimebag Darrell. Me, my son and girlfriend went -- we arrived at 6:30 pm, doors were scheduled to open at 8pm. We stood in some cold weather with around 2,000 or so people. We got into the Arlington Convention Center around 8:15 pm. The actual service started at about 9:20 pm.
Nick Bowcott, formerly of Grim Reaper, came out and talked about Dime a little. Then Jerry Cantrell came out and said a few words about Dime. He then told the crowd he would play the songs he played at the funeral, which was with Mike Inez (formerly Alice in Chains). They played Alice songs “Brother” and “Got Me Wrong.”
Afterwards, Zakk Wylde came out with none other than Eddie Van Halen. They then proceeded to argue over the microphone… Zakk kept trying to say a few words about Dime only to be continuously interrupted by Eddie. Eddie, you could tell, was a little drunk, which surprised me -- I thought he was sober after all these years. Anyway Eddie then played a voice message left by Dime on his cell phone. Dime had left him a message about getting together after all these years. Dime thanked him for putting on a bad ass concert saying that his concert was some sick ass shit.
Rex Brown came and tried to say a few words, but I couldn't understand him -- he was pretty wasted . Next, Vinnie Paul came out and he looked like he had been crying nonstop, which is very understandable. He came out saying he wanted to hear the crowd chant “Dimebag!” The whole place chanted really loud on that one.
Afterwards they played video footage of Dimebag throughout the years (including footage of Pantera without a singer, playing cover tunes by Metallica, Ozzy etc.) Also included were footage taken from the Pantera Home Videos. Pantera videos and Damageplan videos were played as well. There was some funny ass footage of Dime and Pat Lachman outside of Dime's house, watching a friend of theirs doing donuts in his circular driveway. He ends up spinning the wheel so much that one of the back tires come off. Funny as hell.
There were idiots in the audience who moshed and crowd surfed. That shit didn't feel right at this memorial. Anyway, I still can’t believe he's gone. I'm really tired so I’m outta here. Crank up the Damageplan and Pantera, and remember a true legend. R.I.P. Dime ~ hellbound in Fort Worth, TX… always getcha pull, brother…
From Chris Passonno:
I attended the service last night for Dime -- it was incredible with many tributes from Zakk Wylde, Eddie Van Halen, Jerry Cantrell. Listening to Vinnie Paul speak was heart wrenching! Man, it is incredible to see how much Dime was LOVED! All the fans were so supportive of Vinnie , Rita, Alex, and all those close to Dime.
I am so happy I attended the service last night -- it was definitely what I needed to get a little closure on this really awful situation. I hope by all the fan support last night we were able to help the loved ones of Dime achieve a little more closure as well. Watching the home videos of Dime acting like the obvious true kid at heart that he was brought such a cool feeling to the room. It was so amazing to see so many people turn out for Dime.
As far as I know there were no fights no arrest, no riots, just Love for the Brotherhood of Metal. To Zakk and Eddie I must say, "Well said!" Your speeches were great! Also they were from the heart; two badass legends just being honest about their brother. Jerry Cantrell's two live songs were perfect! "Brother" was so fitting of a song. Eddie played a VM from his cell phone that Dime left him a while ago. You could here how cool and down to earth Dime was.
I truly want to thank all of those involved in providing the public with this tribute to Dime. God Bless Dime, his family his friends, Damageplan / Pantera, and all those who had love for Dime.
From Steven Sanders:
My name is Steven Sanders and I live in Huntsville, Texas. I am 28 years old and originally from Corsicana, Texas which is 50 miles south of Dallas. I have been a big fan of Pantera since the Power Metal and Cowboys From Hell days. My brother used to go see them play in Dallas before they made it big. He gave me Cowboys From Hell for my birthday the year it came out. I was instantly blown away and right then I was a fan. Dimebag inspired me to pick up the guitar. I saw them in concert on many occasions and was always amazed after every show. These guys were MY band and from that point forward they have always been that way. So I felt it necessary to make the trip from Huntsville to Arlington to pay my respects.
I arrived at the Arlington Convention Center around 8:15 pm and was not surprised to see the line of cars trying to get into the parking lot. As I was driving by the front of the building you could see a large line already formed trying to get in. I had to park at the back of the parking lot and walk up to a line that stretched halfway across the parking lot. From that point I think we had to wait about 30 or 40 minutes to get in. When we got in I was surprised to see that we didn't miss anything even though it was 9:20pm and the memorial was supposed to start at 9:00pm. It started about 9:30pm and the first speaker was a DJ from a club in Dallas that Pantera played in the ‘80s. He was wearing a white tuxedo with tails and tennis shoes. He said this was Dime's favorite outfit on him. I cannot remember his name but he had been friends with the guys for a long time. To start off, the man apologized for being late but explained that they had always told Dimebag that he would be late to his own funeral because he was always late. They started late just for him because of that fact. This was quite amusing. After giving a little history of their relationship and a couple of stories of times they shared he started the memorial. This guy was basically the emcee for the memorial.
The first speaker was a guy from the band Grim Reaper. I am sorry but I am unfamiliar with this band, but this guy told a few stories about Dime that he was a part of. Sorry to this guy but this was early on and there was so much to tell about and I cannot remember exactly what was said. After that they brought out Jerry Cantrell who spoke of a couple of good times that he had shared with Dimebag. Afterwards he and couple of other guys, who I didn't catch their names, sat down and played a couple of acoustic Alice In Chains songs. They played “Brother” and “Got Me Wrong.”
The next to come up was Zakk Wylde. He started off by kneeling down facing the screen behind the podium, which had a big picture of Dimebag. He then came up and started telling some stories. He seemed pretty drunk and also a little shook up. As he spoke, Eddie Van Halen came out on stage and interrupted him. He grabbed the mic and began speaking. He and Zakk playfully stole the mic back and forth speaking of time they had with each other and Dime. Eddie seemed pretty drunk as well. They both took a couple of shots to Dimebag and kept fighting over the mic. This seemed to go on for about 20 minutes or so. Finally Eddie shared a message that Dimebag had left for him on his voicemail. He said that he never saves messages but for some reason had saved this one. He then told all of us that he was going to record this message and put it on a CD or something. Then they both paid their respects to the family and left the stage.
There was another guy that came out after this called 696 or 1696 I am not exactly sure but if you have ever seen the Pantera videos you would know this guy. He is a big black guy who on the Pantera 3 Video let us hear his pipes by wailing in a very high pitch voice for a very long time. He came out on stage and said that this would be the last time he ever did this and then went into the high pitch wail. Everyone in the crowd went crazy.
Next they brought out Rex "Rocker" Brown. He was obviously very wasted and very broken up over this. He was having trouble talking at first. The MC came over and tried to hurry him up to try to get to the other speakers. Though I understand the Convention Center gave them a time limit, I felt it was a little disrespectful for them to be hurrying up Rex. I wanted to hear what he had to say. He said that there was a lot he wanted to say but had to shorten it up. He was pretty agitated that this was happening to him while he tried to speak. The crowd pretty much agreed with me and started booing the MC. Rex did however say that he had always and will always love Dime no matter what. Those are not exactly his words but are pretty close.
After Rex they brought out Vinnie. He came out and was holding up surprisingly well. The first thing he did was walk over and grab the cardboard cutout of Dimebag and brought it over to the podium. He then said he hadn't heard what he wanted to hear yet. Then he started chanting “Dimebag!” with the crowd loudly following. We chanted “Dimebag” for a little bit. Vinnie then spoke about how Dimebag loved playing music and loved playing for the fans. He talked about them growing up in Arlington and how they loved Dallas. He explained that they loved the Cowboys and the Dallas Stars and all the people from Texas. He said that he loved the friendliness and the hospitality of the south. He paid his respects to the town that had been behind them the whole way. Then we chanted “Dimebag” for a little while again.
Once all the speakers finished, they played a video that they had put together. It showed most of the videos they had done with each band and also a lot of concert footage of Dimebag doing what he did best. They also showed a lot of home movies they had done. Much of the footage was on Pantera's home videos. But they had many more aside of that. Some of the footage that stuck out to me was: all of the footage of Dimebag playing with fireworks, and also footage of them power-braking a truck until the wheel completely fell off. They spun out around the circle drive at Dimebag's house. Once the tire fell completely off they kept going around the circle and through the yard on the rim. The coolest footage though was of Dimebag and Dave Williams from Drowning Pool. It showed them after a long night of partying and them still up in the morning. They then commenced to trashing a car in the driveway. During the footage of many of the solos it felt like he was standing right there playing for us. Many times after he stopped playing on the video, the crowd roared as if he were standing right there and what was weird was the fact that on the video he would be standing there with his arms crossed, smiling as if he were playing for us at his memorial.
The Memorial ended with the song “Soul Bleed” from Damageplan playing in the background while his blue lightning guitar sat on a stand in the middle of the stage. I think this was the point that everyone realized that we would never again see Dimebag play live again. As everyone was walking out you could see all of the stage and everything in front. They had many posters with pictures from magazine covers and regular posters sitting on stands in front of the stage. It was a very good memorial.
In closing, I would like to say this about Dimebag: As any guitarist knows, it is hard enough to learn or make up a very detailed solo, much less play it always with speed and precision. The fact that Dime could play with such speed and precision at the drop of a hat was truly amazing. Dimebag has inspired me as well as many others in that regard. Dimebag Darrell is a true legend. Rest In Peace brother Dimebag.
(Photo Courtesy of Fake111)
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