Dimebag Darrell: Dime’s Dozen
Back in 1993, the late Pantera guitarist, Dimebag Darrell, sat down with Guitar World to discuss "Eruption," "Crazy Train" and 10 other fist-pumping metal classics that every self-respecting guitarist should know.
Originally published in Guitar World, March 1993
You won’t find a shred of jazz, blues, classical, country, funk or alternative guitar playing on any of Pantera’s six albums, including their recent breakthrough efforts, Cowboys from Hell and Vulgar Display of Power. What you will hear is plenty of metal— mean, ornery metal, in the great headbanging spirit of the genre’s forefathers. Leading the Texans’ assault is guitarist Diamond “Dimebag” Darrell, who spent his early years carefully studying platters by metal’s most respected giants: from Black Sabbath and Judas Priest to Iron Maiden and Van Halen.
“The harder stuff has always done it for me,” says Darrell. “Man, if it rips, I’ll give it a thumbs up!”
At Guitar World’s request, the guitarist compiled a list of 12 tunes he regards as pivotal to his development as a player. After he’d completed his list, Darrell commented, “One thing holds true for each of these bands—they all jammed. If kids today want to put a band together and kick some serious ass, it’s important for them to go back and check out these songs, because, when it comes to metal, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Van Halen (1978)
GUITARIST: EDDIE VAN HALEN
“Van Halen was a huge influence on me, and ‘Eruption’ was the song that really leaped off that first Van Halen album. I was a little kid when I first heard it, and I couldn’t believe how Eddie just ripped the strings off his guitar. He played with a fierce aggression—and his guitar sound was unbeatable. That dive bomb sound effect at the song’s end sounded like the world was coming to an end.
“Because Eddie was so hardcore about his guitar, he made me look at the instrument in a different way—more as a tool to screw around with than something you must play very carefully. Everyone should learn ‘Eruption,’ because it proves that technical playing can still be aggressive.”
Blizzard of Ozz (1981)
GUITARIST: RANDY RHOADS
“The first time I heard ‘Crazy Train’ I was crashed out in bed, definitely not wanting to get up and go to school, when my brother Vinnie came in and cranked it up. I heard that opening bass line and Ozzy going ‘I-I-I-I,’ then Randy coming in with that classic riff. That song just busted me in the ass, I was out of bed, dressed and in school—on time for the very first time!
“Randy played a lot of cool slurs, where he would slide his pick down the top E string, and I definitely picked up on that. He also had a great ability to double his leads—the ‘Crazy Train’ solo really shows how well he did that. I double my leads sometimes, and I learned from Randy.”