Instrument designer Buddy Webster, who goes by the name Buddy Blaze, has filed a lawsuit against Armadillo Enterprises, the parent company of Dean Guitars, and the estate of late PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, alleging that he he hasn't received a single penny from the Dimebag's classic "Dean From Hell" guitar, which he says he helped create.
According to the lawsuit, the "Dean From Hell" guitar was designed in the 1980s after Webster met and developed a friendship with Dimebag.
"In the 1980s, Webster was living in Arlington, Texas and befriended a young local guitarist named Darrell Abbott," the lawsuit reads. "Abbott was incredibly talented and was a member the band 'Pantera'… One of Darrell Abbott's guitars is a model made by the Dean Guitar company, known as a Dean ML, which he won in a local contest.
"Abbott used the guitar but eventually decided to sell it… Webster secretly bought it back… then modified the neck the guitar, changed some the hardware and stripped the paint. Webster designed a new visual look for the guitar…featuring] a unique blue background with lightning emanating from the center the guitar body."
Webster claims that he gave Darrell the classic guitar which soon "became his signature guitar.
"Abbott played the guitar from Webster wherever possible," the lawsuit adds. "It became known as the 'Dean From Hell.'"
After Dimebag was tragically murdered in December 2004, Webster collaborated with Dean to produce a similar guitar to sell, marketed as the Buddy Blaze Signature Model. However, according to Webster, Dean Guitars eventually copied "engaged in multiple reissue campaigns of the 'Dean From Hell'" without giving Webster credit or any payment. After Webster failed to reach an agreement with Dean and the Abbott estate, he filed the suit.
"[Dimebag] often spoke highly of Webster and the guitar that became his signature guitar," the lawsuit states. "Webster is certain that [Dimebag] would not condone continual reissues of Webster's design, especially with no recognition or payment to Webster."
Webster is seeking for monetary damages from the unauthorized copying and distribution his work. In addition, Webster has asked the US District Court to enhance the award due to Dean's "willful" violation of his rights.
A copy of the lawsuit, the existence of which was first reported by Digital Music News, can be be found below.