Black Tooth Grin
Zac Crain
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Buy *Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of *Dimebag* Darrell Abbott* by Zac Crain online

Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of *Dimebag* Darrell Abbott
Zac Crain
Da Capo Press
336 pages
June 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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This book relates the terrible story of a guitar player who was finally receiving the kudos he'd earned over years of playing bars and spending hours alone practicing his instrument. Darrell Abbott, known musically as "Dimebag", started the metal band Pantera in the 80s with brother Vinnie. When they released their debut record, Cowboys From Hell, in 1990, Pantera set in motion a career that would go through various ups and downs and bring a lot of notice to Darrell regarding his unique style of guitarmanship.

He continued playing with Pantera, sold a lot of records, and got caught up both with the fatal attraction of alcohol and the metal-ending era of punk. The band broke up, the guitarist started all over with a new band, and on December 8, 2004, 24 years to the day following John Lennon's murder, he was killed by a lunatic fan with a gun.

Since his death, Abbott's star has truly risen, bringing him accolades and compliments from the likes of Zakk Wylde and Edward Van Halen. In fact, Ed placed one of his prized striped guitars in Dime's casket.

The author has talked to musicians and friends in rounding up his story. The only person Crain has not spoken to was Dime himself. He talks about Darrell's addiction to alcohol, and while he does underplay and mythologize it, he recognizes the impact drinking had on his life. But that's not what would kill him; it was the bullet from a 9mm Beretta held and fired by ex-Marine Nathan Gale. That final sequence of the guitarist's life is revisited by the author, who happened to be in attendance at that show.

Dime had the world in front of him. He may have succumbed to alcohol all on his own and been just another rock casualty in a long line of them, but he never even had the time or opportunity to see what might come. This book tells about the life he led and what might have been.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2009

buy *Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of *Dimebag* Darrell Abbott* online
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