It was nine years ago today that Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed onstage in Columbus, Ohio. His passing left the world of rock devastated. All these years later, we still mourn his tragic death and the hole his passing left in rock music.

In a 2011 interview with Revolver magazine, Judas Priest's frontman, Rob Halford, spoke of Dimebag and the times they shared together throughout the years, both on the road and in the studio -- they collaborated on the song 'Light Comes Out of Black,' found on the soundtrack for 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'

"His interpretation of the song, his phrasing [and] the feel was unique," says Halford. "Let’s face it. You look at rock and roll, [and] you’ve got Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix [and] Eddie Van Halen. I’m just going through a list off the top of my head, you obviously got Dimebag. All of those guitar players have been very influential to not only music but specifically to other guitar players around the world. There’s no doubt that Dimebag’s impression was just monumental. If you took Dimebag out of the equation, metal would sound totally different right now, without a doubt it would, definitely."

As many of us do, Halford vividly recalls where he was when he heard the news that Dimebag was gone. "I was in my house in Phoenix," he says softly. "I think somebody texted me or somebody called me, and my legs went from underneath me. I just hit the deck. This can’t be real. I put the TV on, and it was actually on CNN. I just sat there in disbelief. And then I balled like a baby, like you should do. I just cried my eyes out."

He's clearly still affected by the loss: "We lost people through self-induced things, like booze and drugs. We’ve lost people like Ronnie [James Dio] with the kinds of illnesses. But to be f---ing brutally murdered is just insane. Absolutely insane. Dimebag will always live on. That’s the only bit of solace you’ve got. It’s that the work that they made will live forever. That’s the blessing."


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