Andrew Jacobs here,
Pictured above is one Mr. “Dimebag” Darrell Lance Abbott and yours truly (how ’bout that Jew fro?) backstage after a Pantera concert in 1997. I used to know somebody who worked for Concrete Management (Pantera’s management company) and after providing her with a small stack of Pantera bootleg videotapes, she provided backstage passes to me and to my concert companions (one of whom was kind enough to snap the above photo as well as photos of me with Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown – Phil Anselmo didn’t come out to meet the fans unfortunately).
Pantera is almost as significant to me and my life as KISS is. For starters, I started listening to Pantera only a month or two before I started listening to KISS in 1993, so both bands are equally responsible for turning me from a punk/hardcore kid to a rocker/metalhead. And although KISS and Black Sabbath would ultimately become my #1 favorite hard rock and heavy metal bands respectively, it was Pantera that opened the door to both for me.
I’ll NEVER forget the day that I found out about Darrell’s murder. I was working at one of the many shitty temp jobs that I’ve had in my lifetime when I read the news online (what made the whole thing even worse was at about that same time, I received an email from my mother that a family friend of ours, who I actually liked, had also died after a years long battle with cancer). Now normally, celebrity deaths barely phase me (if they phase me at all) but this one was different. Not only had I been a diehard Pantera fan for 11 years at that point but I had also met Darrell in person and he was one of the nicest (hell, probably THE nicest) rock stars that I’ve ever been fortunate enough to meet. Needless to say, this celebrity death hurt like a motherfucker.
Rest In Peace, Mr. “Dimebag” Darrell Lance Abbott. And thank you so much for being such a wonderful human being and, of course, for all of the great music.