Friday, December 10, 2004

He Always Wore Shorts

Dimebag Darrell 1966-2004


I was relieved to find out how young the killer was, because it means I probably didn't deal with him too much. Mansfield was technically outside or service area when I worked on a suicide hotline in Central Ohio, but I talked to disturbed people from Mansfield, Marion etc. and when I heard that it was a guy from redneck territory I was afraid it was somebody I had worked with. Contrary to popular mythology, however, most gun-toting suicidal/homicidal guys are not teenagers but older men. At 23, he was probably just dropping out of high school when I was there.

The whole time I lived in Columbus I never went to the Alrosa Villa - while I was there it was mostly washed-up old 80s metal acts, the guys whose careers were ended by the dawn of bands like Pantera. But it was close to my home, and I must have seen 100 live shows while I lived in Cowtown, this whole killing spree thing feels like someone walked on my grave. Between this and the sniper, people must be starting to associate Columbus with gun-toting whakos. While there's some truth to that, its not the whole truth. Cowtown's homegrown fusion of alt-country and punk rock is also worthy of note. Columbus is like what the kids are doing in the basement when they think nobody's paying attention. That's good because it allows for creative freedom, but bad because everybody thinks those guys are just a bunch of idiots tweaked on crystal meth and moonshine - again, there's truth to that, but not the whole truth.

I don't know that much about Dimebag Darrell, other than I bought the album with "Cowboys from Hell" on it back when it was new. But I just can't comprehend what this "fan" had against him that he would kill him for it. Apparently he was pissed that Pantera broke up and didn't like the new band? Start your own band, shithead. All the kids are doing it.
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