Former MEGADETH/current F5 bassist David Ellefson has issued the following statement in memory of DAMAGEPLAN/ex-PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott:
"Like most of you I couldn't believe my eyes and ears when I woke up and heard the tragic news of Dime's passing and the travesty at the DAMAGEPLAN show in Columbus, Ohio. It is purely beyond belief yet so staggeringly real. I just recently hung out with him and the DAMAGEPLAN entourage a couple weeks ago when they passed through Phoenix, AZ and as usual they were the coolest.
"I first met Dime in 1987 while in a Dallas, TX watering hole where I was introduced to this up-and-coming new band named called PANTERA. Dime was a regional guitar hero who went under the name 'Diamond Darrell' and his band was making some big waves in Texas. That night Darrell raved to me about how MEGADETH's 'Peace Sells But Who's Buying' album forever changed his life. The next night PANTERA played a nearby club and they invited me on stage to jam 'Peace Sells' with them, which was kick-ass! They certainly knew their metal, alright.
"A bond was formed between me and the band which as the years passed was always like seeing good friends again. In fact, I remember calling Darrell years ago asking him if he would join MEGADETH as we were regrouping before 'Rust In Peace'. However, as cool of a musical fit as that might have been, there was no way anyone could split up the brotherly onslaught of him and Vinnie Paul, nor would you want to!
"Years later PANTERA played often with MEGADETH but I specifically remember a funny incident when we did a show together in Hamburg Germany in the red light district known as the Reeperbahn. Dime's tour tradition was to get a tattoo in honor of his favorite bands he toured with. Right before the show, he walked into the club and showed us his brand new black-and-white tattoo on his lower leg of a black tooth grin.
"We were like, 'No fucking way, that's insane!' to which he replied, 'Yeah dad, Black Tooth Grin, just like in 'Sweating Bullets'.' Funny thing is I've seen other people get that same tattoo over the years, all in honor of Dime, and it always brings a grin to my face remembering how nuts he was to go out and get a tattoo in that part of town in our honor!
"In closing, Dime truly lived, breathed and played metal like no other guitar slinger out there. My condolences go out to everyone in his family, the DAMAGEPLAN camp and those related to the victims at the show. This incident has forever scarred heavy metal but our memories will live forever of the legend we've come to know in our brother Dimebag Darrell."