I know this is old news, I really do. But it is one of those taboo things no one talks about. For those who don’t know, Dimebag Darrell was the guitarist (and a sick one at that) for the band Pantera. One night, while he was performing, a crazed gun man in the audience shot and killed him, on stage. It was tragic, and caught a great deal of people off guard, understandably. Anytime some lunatic takes out their aggression on someone undeserved of it, it is a terrible, unforgivable thing. Yet, in the same breath, is there ANY more metal way to die, then to be shot while you are wailing away on a solo, on stage, in a packed club? I recognize it for the tragedy it is, and I am truly sorry anyone had to go through that, but I also recognize how metal it is. Not to seem tactless here, but there is honestly no more metal way to die, unless you die fighting a bear over the honor of a woman. And honestly, if you could choose a way to die that would be as epic and metal as your music, do you really think Dimebag would have wanted to go out any other way?

Alright, please, before you come at me and tell me how insensitive I am, I want you to really think about what I am saying. Do you know what the covers of metal albums look like? They look like this:

I got a shovel headed hell machine once for my tenth birthday, and it broke immediately.

I have seen gay porn that is less homo-erotic than this.

Fact: My blind, twelve-year-old cousin painted this album cover with his balls.

Um, why are they not called “Pukeisaurus”? That shit would fit so well here.

Did you take a good look at those covers? Blood puking, mouth punching, shovel headed madness. Metal is like: HEY, I AM FUCKING BADASS, AND I AM ALL UP IN YOUR FACE. WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT???!! And then metal donkey punches you in the nuts. That is what metal is all about. It is like: HEY, YOU WANNA GET SOMEONE PREGNANT AND THEN ABANDON THEM, YET YOU DON’T LIKE RAP? WE GOT YOU COVEREEEEEEEDDDDD! And they sing that last part all intensely. That, my naive friends, is metal.

Now I want you to think about someone who can shred, and I mean SHRED. They shred the guitar so effortlessly, it is like they are just breathing. SHRED-BREATHING! Someone, for example, just like Dimebag Darrell. Here, I will give you some face-melting, shredding-action right now, to do with as you please:

If your face was not just melted off, you must have some anti-melting helmet on, or something.

Now, what I want you to do is imagine that very shredder (not the one from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) getting all old and shit. I want you to imagine them getting so old, they can no longer shred. Terrible to think about, right? Metal guitarists are like sharks, if they stop shredding, they die.

So is that a fate you would wish on any awesome shredder you know of? No, unless you are cruel, you would not wish that fate upon any shredder (in this case, you CAN think of the guy from TMNT). So what are the viable alternatives to getting old and becoming obsolete? Well, I have one for you? How about being shot ON STAGE, MID-SHRED? Do you know what happens then? Instead of fading into obscurity, you turn into insta-metal-legend. People build mantles to you and name their kids after you and shit.

This pic is like HD porn to a music nerd.

I am fully aware Dimebag (formerly known as Diamond, which is, with all due respect, kind of gay) was ALREADY a legend. I know this. I f*cking LOVED the Cowboys From Hell album growing up. And yes, that was the name of their album. It may sound silly now, but my God, you could skin someone to that shit and not blink an eye. Wait, I am getting distracted.

So yes, he was already a guitar legend, but regardless, in that single tragic moment he went from being someone all metal fans would remember, to being someone who will most likely ALWAYS be remembered, regardless of genre. On top of it, he will always be remembered as that dude who died in the most metal way possible. Seriously, how else would you describe it?

The only way it would have been more metal was if Eddie got on stage and killed him with an axe.

What I want you to do now is to imagine Dimebag himself, being handed a list, that has FIVE plausible, realistic death scenarios he can choose from. The list includes the following:

Getting AIDS from a groupie.

Overdosing on something and dying in a hotel room alone.

Heart failure in your forties from a fast life.

Wasting away and dying of old age.

Getting shot on stage in front of an audience of fans, while shredding, at the near-height of your popularity.

Ah, you never thought about it like that, huh? Well, you should. Which one of those do you think Dimebag himself would have chosen? I’ll give you a hint. The answer involves a loud, banging noise. Now understand, the fact that anyone got shot and died because of some psycho is not good, and it is not okay, and that person deserves NO accolades (which is exactly why I am not talking about specifics regarding the crime itself, i.e location and dates and names) but if we look past that tragedy for a second, do you know what we see? We see a metal God, going out like a metal God. Taking off your blinders, you will see it, too. There is no shame in recognizing that. Wouldn’t he have wanted you to?

” Fuck yeah, Remy, you get it!” Said the wailing spirit of Dimebag, as he looked over this article in ghostly approval.

When rappers get shot, no one is surprised. I mean, didn’t 50 Cent get shot like sixty times, or some shit? So why does getting shot ADD to rap credibility, yet people are too scared to observe just how metal it is? Again, I am just asking the bold (and wildly stupid) questions no other people seem willing to ask. And I think it was an epic, metal way to go out. It sure as fuck beats pulling an Elvis or a Mamma Cass, dying on the toilet, or choking on a ham sandwich.

I will say it now: I better go out fighting a robo-shark, or else this was all in vain. Epic deaths are worth it, if for no other reason than they imprint themselves on your subconscious. Yeah, it was sad when he died. I see that, and I felt that. But I also see just how badass it was, and I am sure he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Pictured: My nemesis, who I will eventually fight to the death.