December 8th always marks a sad but celebratory time in our home. Sad, because of the death of two great musicians, and celebratory, because we still carry the memory of those two people. Though we didn’t personally know them, they influenced our lives and changed the face of music and the world that surrounds it forever.
John Lennon was shot in 1980 by a fan named Mark David Chapman. Lennon was a revolutionary figure when it came to his contribution with The Beatles and his political views. His life was an amazing journey to hear about even today. It’s horrible to know that such a peace advocate’s life was cut so short by a “fan”. We all could have learned much more from the musical roller coaster that he started our parents on so many years ago.
Dimebag Darrell was also shot on Dec. 8th, but in 2004 while performing with Damageplan at an Ohio venue. Dimebag will always be remembered for his contribution in Pantera. Darrell Lance Abbott (Dimebag) was born in 1966 and is considered one of the pioneers of modern metal. His heavy riffs and searing solos let you know that he was a samurai of the six string. Any Pantera album that you listen to will let you know of his greatness. I remember listening to Vulgar Display of Power when I was in 8th grade. It made me feel like I was on top of the world. Anyone that would have decided to fuck with me when I was listening to that would have gotten a fistful of Sony Walkman to the head.
My memories will always be of my troubled youth trying to find sanctuary in the music that still comforts me today. It saddens me greatly to know that something that held me so close in my teenage years is gone today. Cheers to those who feel like we do on this monumental day, especially to Dimebag and Lennon.
Every year we toast the memory of these two great musicians that have passed on to the other side. Last year it was Jagermeister, this year it’s Jim Beam. Please hold your drink high for both of these musicians who meant so much to all of us.
-Greg Dec. 8th, 2009
I wrote this blog on December 8th of 2009. I have tried to write something every year on this date. This year I will do the same. I wanted to post this particular blog because so much has changed musically for me since then and this was from the days of Myspace. I feel the audience is a little bigger now that Dangerous Music has moved forward and The Backstage Betty Pages was formed. I also felt that I left a few things out. I always wrote on December 8th which made this somewhat more emotionally exhausting to write. It always seemed to be accompanied by some sort of documentary or “Behind The Music” involving either Lennon or Dimebag. This year I’m going to write a day early to avoid the stress!!!
I saw Vinnie Paul perform with Hellyeah a few years back. I remember Vinnie standing up from his drum kit and ask that an entire audience of 7000+ toast the memory of his brother. I turned to my wife with a tear in my eye thinking about how cool it was to share that moment with her and even though we never met, that moment was also shared with one of my heroes from way back, Vinnie Paul. You can expect moments like this today all over the United States and even the world. Candlelight vigils are held for John Lennon in New York and I’m positive that a few shot glasses full of Jagermeister are held high for Dimebag Darrell.
My wife is a huge Beatles fan. She has even been so bold as to have Lennon’s self portrait tattooed on her skin. Our apartment from a few years ago used to look like a college student's dorm room. Littered with posters, trinkets, Todd McFarlane Beatles toys, buttons, records and about anything else related to The Beatles that you could imagine. I asked her a couple questions about her feeling on John Lennon’s death and here is what I got.
What did John Lennon mean to you?
He was part of such an important band that created such great music. Plus the music that him and Paul McCartney wrote together will stand the test of time. I don’t think we would have most of the music or artists today if it wasn’t for The Beatles and John Lennon. And not only did he write fantastic music, but he had such a positive message about love and peace. There really hasn’t been many people like him in our history.
Do you feel that music or the music industry would be different if he were still alive?
I do, but I couldn’t really tell you how. Just because you never know how one person will affect things. I think maybe John and Yoko would have kept pushing the envelope. I think they would have either come off as crazy or just pissed people off. Either way, John would have been a driving force throughout every facet of the music industry.
Today I hope everyone takes a moment to think about two great musicians who were taken from us entirely too soon. I think I will start the day out by reliving a little of my youth and blare some Vulgar Display Of Power.