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Ten Things You Didn't Know About Dimebag Darrell

On this day in 2004 the genuine guitar legend and heavy metal icon Dimebag Darrell was murdered on stage. Today at Metal Hammer we’re paying homage to the legend, and here are just a few things you need to know about him…

  • As with Eddie Van Halen, Dimebag actually started off behind the drum kit, before finding his way onto the guitar at the age of 12. 
  • The first live show he ever saw was Kiss, and he also joined the Kiss Army. 
  • Dimebag was buried with bottles of Crown Royal, plus one of Eddie Van Halen’s guitars. This was an original 1979 yellow and black Bumblebee Charvel Hybrid VH2 guitar, the same one featured on the inside sleeve for the Van Halen II album. 
  • Dimebag created the Black Tooth Grin, which became Pantera’s official drink. This featured two shots of Seagrams 7, two shots of Crown Royal and a dash of Coke. The name of the drink comes from the lyrics for the Megadeth song Sweating Bullets
  • Dimebag was a massive Ace Frehley fan. He had a tattoo of the guitarist’s face on his chest. This was signed by Ace, and subsequently turned into a tattoo by Dimebag. 
  • Dimebag’s original ambition wasn’t to be a guitarist, but a film maker. 
  • *Dimebag got a Dean ML guitar after winning a number of local guitar contests. He sold it to guitar maker Buddy Blade, who painted on then signature lightning bolt logo, and gave it back to Dimebag years later. 
  •  When asked by his father one year whether he wanted a BMX bike or a guitar for his birthday, he chose the former. But then he heard Black Sabbath for the first time, regretted his decision and tried to get the bike swapped for a guitar. 
  • Dimebag played guitar solos on four Anthrax songs: Riding Shotgun, Inside Out, Strap It On and Cadillac Rock Box. Anthrax referred to him as their sixth member. 
  • Dimebag once said that the worst advice he ever got from his musician dad, and that was to “play by the book”.

Watch previously unseen Dimebag rehearsal video

'He was the wild life of the party' - Vinnie Paul remembers Dimebag Darrell

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.