ANTHRAX Guitarist: DIMEBAG Was An Original Through And Through

ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has posted the following message on the band's official web site (as part of his regular online column, dubbed "Alpha Mail"):

"Comrades,

"Hey Baldini, get your boy over here a double!'

"That's a line I must have heard a thousand times from Dimebag over the years. 'Baldini' was his name for me. 'Dino Baldini' when he was being polite. He also called me 'The Action Figure' and 'The Jew' (that being said with the utmost affection).

"There were so many times over the past few days in Dallas when I expected to turn around and see him standing there with that 'cat that ate the canary' grin of his, as if somehow he had just pulled the biggest prank in the world by gathering all of us together at his funeral under such insane false pretenses.

"His presence, even in death, is larger than life.

"Dime was everywhere. In every hug, in every kiss, in every shared story, in every tear shed by his family and friends, in every laugh talking about his adventures.

"Yes, adventures. Dime was the Indiana Jones of metal, always looking for the Holy Grail of pranks. He was all of the guys on 'Jackass' combined; years before there was a TV show. Anyone that has seen the PANTERA home videos knows what I am talking about. Dime did it first and without a huge corporation and a team of lawyers to take care of the mess afterwards.

"Dime was an original, through and through. Always kicking the door open in every aspect of his life. There were no walls that could contain his creativity and his life was proof of that.

"Everything he did was done with a passion that was stronger than the Hulk. (He did have a 'Hulk Blood' tattoo.)

"In Dime's world anything could happen. And it did.

"No idea was too crazy, no idea too big.

"A few years back I was over at his house and he was so proud of the smoke machine and disco ball he had installed in his living room so it would be like a KISS live show every night. All he needed were some big flames and it was done. (Not painted, actual fire in his living room.)

"When you walked into Dime's world you just had to let go of reality and I quote the man himself, 'Blow it up!'

"Charlie [Benante] told a great story about being at the house and seeing a goat with a pink beard walk past him. He did a double take and asked Dime why there was a goat walking around. Dime told him that somebody left it at his house so naturally he had to dye its beard a matching pink.

"It was this sense of the surreal; the feeling that you were living inside a comic book when you were with him that was so wonderful. He was an amusement park funhouse unto himself, if that funhouse was filled with the heaviest, fattest, grooviest, sickest riffs and mind-bending leads ever heard.

"Dime transcended guitar playing.

"Like Eddie Van Halen before him, he took the guitar and reinvented it for a whole new generation. He single-handedly kept lead guitar playing alive all through the nineties when for some reason it became trendy to do away with lead breaks. How did that happen? A reaction maybe to the overblown clich├ęd ten-minute guitar solos of the seventies and eighties or maybe because the players had nothing to say with their leads, or just couldn't play in the first place. Dime and I did an interview together for a guitar magazine and they asked us about seven string guitars and Dime said, 'Learn how to play more than a one-fingered riff on six first.'

"A ten-minute guitar solo by Dime was not only welcomed live, it was a highlight of the show.

"Dime was the complete package as a guitarist. He always knew that the rhythm and the riff were first. You can't just be a shredder and have nothing else to say. His rhythm playing was second to none and his riff writing and sense of melody took PANTERA to the top of the metal world.

"Dime's guitar playing has influenced every Metal band of the last ten years. That is a testament to his talent and power as an artist.

"I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time with Dime over the years. My experiences with him will never dull or fade. Those memories are in the vault, always safe, always accessible, to put a smile on my face. Dime had an uncanny ability to make you feel better just by being around him and his legacy will keep that spirit alive forever.

"Celebrate this man's life. Raise a glass and 'Watch it go!!'

"It's the only way he would've wanted it to be.

"I love you brother."

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