Friday, December 10, 2004

Murder Made for Metal

I can't say I was ever a fan but what a strange and pointless death suffered by former Pantera guitarist Darrell Abbott. Some lunatic rushes onstage during a performance by his new band Damageplan and puts 5 bullets into him.

I've only seen it mentioned in one article, but it is kind of weird that it occurred 24 years to the day after John Lennon was murdered in New York. The same number of bullets as well.

Years ago I was travelling through Spain and was in the northern town of San Sebastian when Pantera came through for a performance. A mate I was with eagerly rushed off to the show that night and praised it as one of the best he'd ever seen. I had just had my wallet nicked and lost a good chunk of cash and had to think forward to the coming days and so had to decline the offer to join him. He said it was the most unique concert he'd ever seen not least because of the fact that staff members associated with the band were passing or throwing hundreds of small cups with beer into the audience.

In the last 10 years or so I've passed up the opportunity to see 3 different famous rock performers only to see them killed a few years later; Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Denver and now Darrell Abbott. However, even if I'd known Denver was soon to buy it I probably still would have turned down the invitation.

When the shock of tragedy dies down it's at least certain to cement Abbott as a heavy metal legend. The emotion of it all might even push a few melodramatic sorts over the edge, the type who've been conditioned by years of cliched, tragic storylines...

He killed his parents as they slept. He bludgeoned them to death with an electric guitar. He then soaked himself in gasoline and climbed aboard his motorcycle, drove onto the freeway and set himself alight as he plowed head-on into a truck.