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Ten Things You Didn't Know About Dimebag Darrell

Essential facts about the Pantera legend

On this day in 2004 the genuine guitar legend and heavy metal icon Dimebag Darrell was murdered on stage. Today at Metal Hammer we're paying homage to the legend, and here are just a few things you need to know about him...

  • As with Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag actually started off behind the drum kit, before finding his way onto the guitar at the age of 12.
  • The first live show he ever saw was Kiss, and he also joined the Kiss Army.
  • Dimebag was buried with bottles of Crown Royal, plus one of Eddie Van Halen's guitars. This was an original 1979 yellow and black Bumblebee Charvel Hybrid VH2 guitar, the same one featured on the inside sleeve for the Van Halen II album.
  • Dimebag created the Black Tooth Grin, which became Pantera's official drink. This featured two shots of Seagrams 7, two shots of Crown Royal and a dash of Coke. The name of the drink comes from the lyrics for the Megadeth song Sweating Bullets.
  • Dimebag was a massive Ace Frehley fan. He had a tattoo of the guitarist's face on his chest. This was signed by Ace, and subsequently turned into a tattoo by Dimebag.
  • Dimebag's original ambition wasn't to be a guitarist, but a film maker.
  • Dimebag got a Dean ML guitar after winning a number of local guitar contests. He sold it to guitar maker Buddy Blade, who painted on then signature lightning bolt logo, and gave it back to Dimebag years later.
  • When asked by his father one year whether he wanted a BMX bike or a guitar for his birthday, he chose the former. But then he heard Black Sabbath for the first time, regretted his decision and tried to get the bike swapped for a guitar.
  • Dimebag played guitar solos on four Anthrax songs: Riding Shotgun, Inside Out, Strap It On and Cadillac Rock Box. Anthrax referred to him as their sixth member.
  • Dimebag once said that the worst advice he ever got from his musician dad, and that was to “play by the book”.

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