Former 24-7 SPYZ drummer Joel Maitoza has issued the following statement in memory of DAMAGEPLAN/ex-PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott:"I am deeply saddened, shocked and appalled by the recent death of Dime (guitarist and founder of PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN). "I was very aware of his unique talent the first time I heard the albums 'I Am The Night' and 'Projects In The Jungle' by PANTERA in the late '80s before they hit the metal mainstream big time with 'Cowboys from Hell'. "I had the extreme pleasure of meeting PANTERA in 1991 while I was on tour with 24-7 SPYZ. PANTERA and SPYZ also shared the same record label (Atco/Eastwest) and we both worked with producer/engineer extraordinaire Terry Date in the early '90s. They came out to our show in Dallas and were getting busy in the pit with the rest of the fans. "Since that show, I had the chance to hang out with the PANTERA camp many times over the years. Every time I ran into them they were always down-to-earth people. Darrell was a huge fan of music and treated his fans the same way as they treated him...like family. Never acting like a rock star, but always seeming larger than life. Always having a smile on his face even with a hangover. He consistently gave 110 percent on stage and made everyone around him feel special. Darrell lived his life on 10 all the time. "It wasn't his time to go yet. He had a ton of great music to share with the world that will now never be heard. "I will always remember the times we got to hang out and talk about bands and music. "May God be watching over you trading licks with Randy, Jimi and all the other great guitarists whose lives were cut short in their prime. You will be missed."
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