Darrell Lance Abbott is born in Arlington, Texas. The seventh largest city in Texas is situated 12 miles east of Fort Worth and 20 miles west of Dallas.
Aged eight, Darrell meets Rita Haney at the bike trails, areas of underdeveloped housing land near where the children live that they ride their bikes on. She pushes Darrell off his bike. They will later become partners.
At 12, Darrell takes up playing drums along with 14-year-old brother Vinnie Paul. Vinnie pulls rank so Darrell then takes up playing guitar.
Darrell attends his first ever gig, Thin Lizzy and Nazareth at the Dallas Convention Centre on February 25. Later sees Alice Cooper with The Babys and Legs Diamond in support with brother Vinnie.
Pantera form. Originally called Eternity, and later Gemini, they
settle on the name Pantera, after the make of a car, when someone at Vinnie Paul’s school mentions the name to him.
Original Pantera singer Donnie Hart leaves. Guitarist Terry Glaze takes over on vocal duties.
Pantera release their debut album, ‘Metal Magic’, on their own Metal Magic label. It is recorded at Pantego Studios with Darrell’s father Jerry Abbott as producer.
Pantera record and release ‘Projects In The Jungle’. Terry Glaze changes his name to Terrence Lee.
Pantera release ‘I Am The Night’ on their own Metal Magic label. Darrell hooks up with Rita Haney, who will remain his long-term girlfriend.
Pantera decide to part company with Terrence Lee after a disagreement over their musical direction. Former Razor White vocalist Phil Anselmo joins the band.
Pantera record ‘Power Metal’. It will be their final album on Metal Magic and the final time the band appear in Spandex.
Pantera sign to Atco Records, having impressed Atco rep Mark Ross. Band enter Pantego Studios to start work on a new album.
‘Cowboys From Hell’ is released, heralding a new dawn for both Pantera and metal.
Pantera appear before 500,000 people at the Monsters In Moscow festival alongside Metallica and AC/DC.
Pantera release ‘Vulgar Display Of Power’ on February 25. The album reaches No. 44 in the US charts and 64 in the UK. They also record ‘Light Comes Out Of Black’ with Rob Halford for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie.
‘Far Beyond Driven’ enters both the US and Australian album charts at No. 1 (it reaches No. 3 in the UK).
Phil Anselmo resorts to using heroin as a painkiller for a chronic back ailment, refusing doctors’ suggestions of surgery. He releases ‘NOLA’ with Down.
Pantera release ‘The Great Southern Trendkill’. It enters the US charts at No. 4 and 17 in the UK. Phil Anselmo overdoses on heroin on July 13.
Pantera release the live album ‘Official Live: 101 Proof’ as something of a stopgap. The band appear on the bill for the US Ozzfest.
Pantera finally release ‘Reinventing The Steel’, which will prove to be their last studio album. It reaches No. 4 in the US charts. Phil Anselmo appears highly inebriated at London’s Brixton Academy, to the evident anger of his bandmates.
Pantera’s European tour is cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks. Pantera will never perform live again.
Down release their second album ‘Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow’. Superjoint Ritual release their debut, ‘Use Once And Destroy’.
Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul announce the break-up of Pantera, having finally tired of sitting around waiting for Phil Anselmo. They form Damageplan with former Halford member Pat Lachman and ex-Jerry Cantrell guitarist Shawn Matthews. Superjoint Ritual release their second album, ‘A Lethal Dose Of American Hatred’.
Damageplan release their debut album, ‘New Found Power’. It charts in the US at No. 34. The band tour the US to increasing acclaim. Dimebag Darrell appears, suitably refreshed, at the second annual Metal Hammer Golden Gods to accept the much-deserved Best Guitarist Award. He celebrates in style.
On December 8, Dimebag is shot dead at a gig in Columbus, Ohio. He is just 38 years old.
He was buried on December 14 at The Moore Funeral Home Cemetery in Arlington, in a Kiss coffin.