DIMEBAG's Longtime Girlfriend Speaks About Honorary Stage At DOWNLOAD Festival

Rita Haney, longtime girlfriend of slain PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, has spoken to NME.COM about her joy at the renaming of Download festival's second stage in his honor.

"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott was shot dead by paranoid shizophrenic Nathan Gale while playing with his band DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Ohio on December 8, 2004.

"It's nice that everyone here remembers him as well," Rita explained, "When I found out, it really made me smile. It was a good thing to wake up to."

She was first informed that the stage had been re-named via Dimebag's brother and ex-bandmate, Vinnie Paul. Haney has since been invited to the U.K.'s Download festival as a guest of honor by event promoters Live Nation.

She sees a lasting testament to the legendary metal guitarist in the bands who continue to mine his sound. "There are a helluva lot of bands who are influenced by Darrell," she said. "His musical legacy is massive."

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