It’s December 8th again, and while most of the Western world is scrambling around trying to get their holiday plans nailed down, the musically inclined among us are taking a few moments to remember two of the most iconic figures in the history of rock and roll: John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell Abbott.
Lennon and Abbott were two of the most influential figures in rock and metal, respectively. Lennon’s contributions as a member of The Beatles, as well as a solo artist, paved the way for not only the sounds of rock and roll, but the use of rock and roll as a vehicle to promote political messages, mainly of peace.
Lennon’s importance in history of rock and roll is almost immeasurable, but a good start would be with the hundreds of millions of albums sold and his constant monitoring by the CIA as a person of interest. If the goal of an artist is to help others see the world in a whole new way, artists don’t get much more influential than John Lennon.
Lennon was assassinated in New York City on December 8th, 1980.
Twenty-four years later, on December 8th in Columbus, Ohio, influential guitarist and founding member of Pantera and Damageplan, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, was also assassinated.
While Abbott may not be the household name that Lennon is, his influence on metal music, in particular among metal guitar players, is almost unequaled. He emerged from the Dallas metal scene as one of the most complete guitarists ever. Writing in lockstep with is Pantera bandmate and brother, drummer, Vinnie Paul, Abbott pioneered a style of metal they called “groove metal,” that has continued to prove influential.
His distinct solid-state guitar sound punctuated soaring leads that seamless combined the fireworks of Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhodes with the Texas boogie of Billy Gibbons. This signature sound made him a staple in music magazine readers polls of which he routinely won “Best Metal Guitarist” and “MVP” awards.