Anselmo: Dimebag lesson I'll never forget

Phil Anselmo says he will never forget a lesson the late Dimebag Darrell taught him about his attitude.

In a touching tribute to his former Pantera bandmate, Anselmo tells Rolling Stone he makes a point of trying to make things easy for the people around him – and to always do the very best he can as a person and musician.

The 10th anniversary of Darrell Abbott’s murder is marked by the latest edition of Metal Hammer, on sale today. It includes an in-depth feature on Dimebag and his legacy. TeamRock Radio last night broadcast a documentary marking the anniversary – it’s available on demand now.

Anselmo says: “I learned a lot of lessons from Dimebag. There was a time when I was going through a very tough period when it felt like my body was betraying me, and some days I would just have a shitty attitude and that would be my fucking mood for the day.

“Both Dimebag and our security guy, Big Val, came in one day and said, ‘You know, Phil, when you roll off that bus, you set the tone for the day with your actions.’

“From that I took a positive from it, and no matter how I’m fucking feeling these days, I make sure I poke my head in and say hello to the opening band, I say hello to the road crew, really just sort of to show a kinder side to myself. Dimebag taught me that making things easier for everyone around me is imperative.

“When it came to Pantera, he was very particular, and when it came to pushing anyone, whether it be me, Rex or anyone, he could push you, but he was also a great motivator. And he was always working towards the best for whatever particular song we were working on. He’d get the best out of everybody.

“His loss has made me work harder to do his memory justice. I want to leave his memory sacred and do the best that I can do, because I know that’s what he would’ve wanted – my best.”

It comes just weeks after Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl gave the credit for his ‘nicest man in rock’ tag to Dimebag’s example.

Anselmo also recalls how Darrell’s face lit up when the singer first suggested he change his nickname from Diamond to Dimebag.

He says: “When I joined the band, he was going by Diamond Darrell. After a while, I was like, ‘This Diamond shit ain’t gonna cut it anymore. Brother, you ought to change that shit to Dimebag’ – and the look on his face was priceless, because I could tell he loved it right off the bat. It just cracked his ass up and he went with it from there.”

Earlier, the police officer who shot and killed the gunman who murdered Dimebag and three other people in Ohio in 2004 told how his career was ended by the incident.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.