The Day The Music Was Murdered

Hi folks. Today is a sad day for me, when it comes to some of my favourite bands and I will explain why, as you read the rest of this post.
Today marks the anniversaries of two murders in rock and heavy metal music and they have both affected me in varying degrees. On December 8, 1980 John Lennon, probably the most famous of the Beatles was shot and killed by mark david chapman, outside of his apartment in New York City. This took place after both him and Yoko Ono had finished a recording session for a song, which would appear on a Yoko Ono album years later. It’s all there on Wikipedia if you would like more information about the events that day. However I will say that John conducted his last interview that day, a few hours before mark david chapman murdered John. You will notice I didn’t capitalize his name because like the other murderer in this post, they don’t deserve to have their names written out properly, as they have killed two important iconic musicians who were and are loved by millions around the world.
Also on December 8th 2004, guitarist Dimebag daryl Lance Abbott was also murdered by a piece of nothing named nathan gail. The difference being that this murder took place in full view of everybody, who was at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus Ohio. This merger took place while Daryl was on stage with his band Damageplan and his brother Vincent Paul Abbott on drums, as they both were on their respective instruments and Pantera. The other big difference with the story is that in this case the murderer was killed, after he had shot, killed and or wounded various members of the road crew or fans. Then, a policeman came in and fired one shot and killed nathan gail, thus saving the lives of many people including Vinny Paul.
Now I will talk about where I was when I heard about both murders. In the case of John Lennon, I heard about it when I was at school when one of the staff mentioned it to me. He said something like “he was shot and he fell down” and I immediately thought that he was killed. I didn’t know yet that you could be shot and survive! I and many other fans of The Beatles were very saddened to hear of this and years later, it finally clicked and how important a figure John Lennon was to not just music but other things like politics. We’ve been robbed of a man who was a very good wordsmith and brought genres like musique concrete almost to the mainstream. If he was alive today I think he would be quite impressed with all the music out there, including the grunge, industrial, Brit pop and even ban such as Radiohead. Of course, he would always go back to his childhood music such as: Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley, buddy holly and the other people he listen to before getting full-time into music. Also, I learned to write songs through a radio program about him called The Lost Lennon Tapes. Most of the demo recordings ended up on the Beatles Anthology albums and elsewhere and that gave me more of the drive to want to try to be a musician.
In the case of Dimebag Darrell, I had actually seen him back in June 2001, when Pantera and a number of other bands played at what was then known as Copps Coliseum, now known as First Ontario Center in Hamilton Ontario Canada. One thing I can talk about is that some asshole threw a beer on me during the first song of one of the opening bands sets. In case you’re wondering, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt plus my shoes and socks at the time and yes, I did kind of smell like a brewery for a while. However, it was a great show and of course, the last time Pantera would set foot in Canada before both the September 11 attacks and their break up.
 When the album New Found Power from Damageplan was released in 2004, I bought it on CD the day it came out and I loved it instantly. A highlight for me is the guitar solo on the song Moment Of Truth, which should have been released as a single. Then December 8th happened and I had actually heard about it the next morning at home on the radio. At first nobody said if any one was killed but I learned soon after hearing about it that it was Daryl, who had been murdered. It also happened that I was doing my grocery shopping that day and as you can imagine, it was difficult to concentrate after hearing such tragic news.
As for how heavy music has changed since then, not much has changed except the increase in guitar solos from newer bands like: Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold and Five Finger Death Punch. Even bands like Mud Vayne decided to start putting guitar solos on their albums to augment the sound.
As a guitar player, I was and still am impressed with all the things he is done on Pantera albums and on New Found Power. I’m also quite happy that Brian May of Queen spoke up about the death of Daryl and I have a sneaking suspicion that Daryl was influence partly by Brian and his playing as well. However, he has never said that in interviews that I know of. If Daryl was alive today, I think that he would still be making music and still have the chops. Both of these guys were taken from us too early and if I could go back in time, I would make sure that they were both out of the way, of any danger to their lives.
As for the killers, I am glad that mark david chapman hasn’t been allowed to be paroled and I hope it stays that way. He can say sorry for what he did all he wants but it won’t change the fact that he did what he did to John Lennon. As for nathan gail, he got what he deserved and I’m happy. As for the families, I am glad that everyone is doing what they are doing and I am on their side, with all the annual events and such. I the case of the Lennon estate, keep fighting to keep mark david chapman behind bars and when he dies I will be happy. Shouldn’t he be on death row? After all, he did kill somebody and he knew what he was doing.
Anyway, I will be listening to an album with John Lennons last interview, which is available on iTunes and as for Daryl, I will probably be listening to New Found Power today as well.

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