Dimebag Darrell: Regular People
A school paper lands a final interview with Dime.
The following interview was conducted by Joshua Gropp on Dec. 1, 2004, on Damageplan’s tour bus outside the Phoenix in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Gropp is a 22- year-old jazz-guitar student at Humber College in Toronto, and is also a guitar teacher. He interviewed Dime for the school newspaper, the Humber College Et Cetera.
JOSHUA GROPP When you were a teenager you were known for winning most of the local guitar contests. What was it that prompted you to enter those contests?
DIMEBAG DARRELL I used to go to this huge music store all the time, and they had these contests where you would go in and just jam out, put some riffs on a tape and do your most impressive shit and throw it in a box with your address on it. And the first one I entered I had only been playing for, like, three months, and I thought I had no chance. But that dream was always there, you know? And I won it—couldn’t believe it! After a few years, I had won seven in a row. Won all kinds of cool stuff: ESP guitars, Charvels, Dean guitars, Randall amps. When I went to enter again, they said, “No, dude, don’t even enter—you’re going to judge the next one.”
GROPP What sort of things were you practicing back then?
DARRELL I would just listen to records and learn what I could, then just roll it over and over and over. I tried to take lessons once, and the dude was really good and he tried to teach me theory and all that shit, but none of it made any sense to me. You know, to be just running up and down these scales when I could be playing fucking Randy Rhoads or something, I just didn’t find any enjoyment in it. I don’t know what kind of enjoyment dudes get out of it if they already know what a certain mode is going to sound like, or a certain scale before they go to it. It’s kind of like the cat’s already out of the bag, you know? There’s a certain amount of spontaneity that goes on whenever I’m jamming, and I don’t think that part of my playing would be there if I did learn all that shit. But yeah, lessons didn’t really work out for me, so I went to the old school, listening to records and learning what I wanted to learn.
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