winter of pantera

Remembering Dimebag Darrell, Because No One Else Seems To

Why doesn’t anyone give a shit about Pantera anymore?

Last Friday, I attended an organized tribute/toast to my favorite (dead) guitarist, “Dimebag” Darrell. Though the venue billed the event as “annual,” this was the first New York-area “Dimebag” memorial I had heard about since the Pantera guitarist’s death in 2004, and I did not want to miss it.

I own a fair amount of Pantera gear, but I decided to keep it low-key and sort of preppy that evening. I was hoping to walk in the bar and have all these metal dudes think, “Who is this fucking nerd? I bet he doesn’t know shit.” And I would be like, “Au contraire,” and rattle off a bunch of Dime facts and take a lot of shots, so the metal dudes would be like, “Holy-shit, this dude fucking rules.”

The toast took place at a bar called Idle Hands on Avenue B at 11:59 PM the night of December 7th (Dimebag was shot to death on the 8th, the same date as John Lennon). The flyer promised five-dollar “Black Tooth Grins” (Dime’s signature cocktail) and a Pantera Power Hour to begin promptly after the toast at midnight. We arrived at 11 PM, hoping to beat the crowd but were surprised to find the bar already packed with drunk people. I had never been to Idle Hands before and didn’t really know what to expect, but I was surprised by the straightness of the patrons. They didn’t seem like quintessential Pantera fans. But, then again, neither did I.

The venue was vaguely 90s hard rock themed, complete with Porno for Pyros posters on the wall and “Spoonman” on the stereo. I guess I was hoping for more of a “Duff’s”-style metal bar, but I wasn’t too disappointed. My group of friends was lucky enough to find a table, so I went to the bar to grab enough Black Tooths and beer to last us through the toast. I turned to the long-hair immediately to my left, gave him a friendly nudge on the shoulder and said, “Fuckin’ Dimebag, right?”

He gave me a confused look and replied, “Um… No thank you.”

OK, I thought, wrong dude. I turned to another guy and tried again.

“Coke or weed?” He asked. “I didn’t even know they sold dime bags anymore.”

Frustrated, I headed towards a guy wearing a Morbid Angel shirt standing near my table.

“Fuckin’ Dimebag, right?”

“Darrell?” He replied. “Yeah… Pantera’s cool.”