Abbott was shot and killed by a gunman while on stage during a performance with Damageplan on December 8, 2004, at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.This is the same day of the death of John Lennon, as well as the birthday of Slipknot's own Corey Taylor. Dime ranked No. 92 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists and No. 1 in the UK magazine.
Dime took up the guitar when he was twelve, with his first "axe" being a Hondo Les Paul.. After winning a few local guitar competitions, most notably held at the Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Dallas, Texas, Abbott was awarded a Dean ML. He then sold this guitar to luthier Buddy Blaze, who installed a Floyd Rose bridge and emblazoned it with Abbott's signature lighting bolt paint job; Blaze returned it some years later.Coincidentally, his father had also bought him a Dean ML the morning before the aforementioned competition, but one with a cherry sunburst finish instead.
After a year, brothers Vinnie and Dimebag, formed Damageplan, a heavy metal band which continued the Pantera-style groove metal sound. The Abbott brothers recruited former Halford guitarist Pat Lachman on vocals, and Bob Zilla on bass. Damageplan released its debut album New Found Power in the United States on February 10, 2004, which debuted at No. 38 on the Billboard 200, selling 44,676 copies in its first week.
When writing music for the new group, Dimebag said that "we wanted to stretch out and expand our capabilities to their fullest potentials. Guitar World, is releasing an Ultimate Dime Tribute Issue this week. As part of their coverage of the 10-year anniversary of the Pantera guitarist’s death, they have released a previously unreleased track called “Whiskey Road”– a never-before-heard song recorded by Darrell, who performs all of the instruments and vocals on the song.
“Whiskey Road” was tracked in 2001, during the last outing of Pantera’s ‘Reinventing the Steel’ tour in the U.S.
Listen to the song here:
Abbott once said in a Guitar World interview that if there were no Ace Frehley, there would have been no Dimebag Darrell. Abbott bore a tattoo of the KISS guitarist on his chest. Frehley signed the tattoo in pen ink upon meeting him, at Dimebag's request, and the autograph was later tattooed over.
Abbott stated in various interviews that his riffs were largely influenced by Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath. Iommi also influenced Dimebag's guitar tone and tunings, which often went down to C# or lower. Pantera covered Black Sabbath songs "Planet Caravan", "Hole in the Sky" and "Electric Funeral". Eddie Van Halen was another big influence on his style. He learned "Eruption" note-for-note and often played it live in his early days.
Pete Willis of Def Leppard was seen as another major influence for Darrell. In hisGuitar World magazine tribute issue, Abbott was quoted as saying, "Man, that first Leppard album really jams, and their original guitarist, Pete Willis, was a great player. I was inspired by him because I was a small young dude and he was a small young dude, too—and he was out there kickin' ass. He made me want to get out there and play. Def Leppard used the two-guitar thing much more back then than they do now."