Duff McKagan, Tom Morello, Sebastian Bach Rock for Dimebag Darrell

Marathon 'Dimebag Bash' features slew of all-star jams

December 15, 2011 12:25 PM ET
rex brown dimebash
Rex Brown, former Pantera bassist, performs with Kill Devil Hill at Dimebash at the Key Club in Hollywood.
Tom Stone

"This is amazing. I've never seen so many rockers in one place," System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian was saying last night backstage at Hollywood's Key Club, just before going to rehearse a version of Bruce Springsteen's "Ghost of Tom Joad" with Tom Morello. 

The occasion was the Dimebag Bash, the annual tribute to late Pantera guitarist Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott, who was tragically murdered on stage in 2004. Members of Pantera (including bassist Rex Brown), Rob Zombie guitarist John 5, Disturbed's David Draiman, Sebastian Bach, Ben Harper, Duff McKagan and many more descended on the venue to honor Abbott's memory. "It still hurts," Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell told Rolling Stone

Everyone there gave it their all, rocking out on songs by Dio, like "Man On The Silver Mountain," "Heaven and Hell" and "Mob Rules"; and Metallica*, including "Seek and Destroy," sung by Draiman, and "Cemetery Gates," led by Bach. But the night also served as a tribute to metal in general. Bach, a ubiquitous frontman, also rocked Van Halen's "Unchained" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." And with so many different musicians in the house, the night stretched beyond metal, like the Springsteen track performed by Tankian and Morello. And in the midst of almost five hours of metal mayhem, there was a lovely acoustic rendition of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here."

Thanks to Abbott's widow, Rita Haney, all proceeds from the concert went to Wendy Dio's charity Stand Up and Shout, which raises money for cancer research; her husband, Ronnie James Dio, died of stomach cancer in May 2010. And ultimately, a night dedicated to both Abbott and Dio was about the best of the music they created and loved. Somewhere around 1 a.m., it ended as loud as it began, with Draiman leading the musicians in Pantera's "Walk."

* This story has been corrected.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »