Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford released a statement in memory of Damageplan/ex-Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. “Hello everyone. My deepest condolences go out to everyone affected regarding the passing of Dimebag,” Halford writes. “His mucianship was superb and his original style was and will remain an inspiration to players worldwide. His friendship can never be replaced.”
“I first met Dime in 1991. I was in Toronto preparing for the ‘Painkiller’ tour. I had MuchMusic TV on and saw this guy talking about metal and wearing a ‘British Steel’ shirt. From what he was saying and the Pantera video that aired I knew right away that this man was a guitar god!
“I called MuchMusic and spoke to Dime and that night went to a club and hung with the band. We jammed ‘Metal Gods’. From that point on, he and the rest of the band became solid friends. My gut feeling was that this band would be huge.
“So Pantera toured with Priest all over Europe. Many a night I would stand off stage and watch them tear up city after city leaving everyone stunned by their intense performances. It was a thrill to watch and hear Dime invent and advance with his playing. Soon the world became Panterarised!
“Of course, so much has happened since those early times and I feel that it’s important now that however we take the turn of events in recent years we all stay true to the same belief that Dimebag had about his love of metal, which was to play your heart out and be real wherever you are! Some things that happen in life make no sense at all, but out of pain comes strength, and I know the metal community will take that strength and use it as an enduring memory for Dimebag.
“Love never dies.”