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Sixteen years ago today, Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was murdered on stage during a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio.

Rock and roll is littered with shocking tales of musicians whose lives were cut far too short, but in the case of Abbott, the fact that his life was taken away while he was doing what he loved most adds to his tragic end.

Abbott exemplified the passion of not just metal musicians but also metal fans. Metal ran through his blood and was famously tattooed on his chest. It takes a special kind of fan to have Ace Frehley’s face inked on your chest, and then have KISS’s Spaceman autograph said tribute and then have an artist tattoo over Frehley’s signature.

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If you wanted further proof of Abbott’s fandom and the respect other guitarists had for him, he’s also buried in a KISS Kasket along with Eddie Van Halen’s original 1979 black and yellow Charvell “Bumblebee” guitar gifted to Abbott’s widow Rita Haney by Eddie himself.

In life and in death, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott remains one of metal’s biggest champions and ambassadors whose influence continues to reverberate through countless guitarists and bands and will do so for decades to come.


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Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.