The Lost Lesson: Dimebag Darrell's Destructional Home Videos
From the GW archive: This story — in a longer form — originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Guitar World, which is pictured below.
“Fuck it, Hitchcock,” drawled Dime, downing the dregs of his beer.
“We’ve been hammering this for hours and we’re out of booze. Interview and lesson over…we’re hitting a bar, goddammit! Put the camera and tape machine away, I’ll film me playing the riffs we went over when I get home and Fed Ex a tape to ya.”
The date was Saturday, December 13, 2003; the time: 3:30 A.M.; the place: an upscale New York hotel room with an empty mini-bar and a case’s worth of empty Heineken bottles filling every flat surface. The occasion? The interview and planned private guitar lesson for the ‘King Dimebag Returns!” cover story for the March 2004 issue of Guitar World.
I didn’t need any prompting, I hit “stop” on my recorder and we ventured out into the heart of Manhattan. Even at that hour, finding a bar that was still open in “the city that never sleeps” was an easy task. In typical Dimebag fashion, the goateed guitarist was immediately adopted as everybody’s new best friend, especially the bartender, and also in typical Dime fashion, we drank until dawn.
Later that day Dime did a beyond stellar in-store appearance for Dunlop at a Long Island Sam Ash store (despite “one bitch of a hangover!”), and we went our separate ways...
True to his word, within a few days of Dime returning home to Texas, a Fed Ex package containing a videotape arrived. By this time, though, Darrell had agreed to come back for the third run of his wildly popular "Riffer Madness" monthly column as soon as Damageplan’s 2004 touring cycle was over, so I put the video, lesson interview and hand shots away until that time.
Sadly, for the tragic reason we are all still painfully aware of, Dime’s return as a columnist wasn’t to be, and I forgot all about the video tape he’d sent me until a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled across it.
Intrigued, I put the tape in my VCR and watched with anticipation. What I saw blew me away—30-plus minutes of Dime in magical form ripping through Damageplan riffs and some scorching, off-the-cuff licks! Even though the tape was marked “For Your Eyes Only” and was a one-take home video recorded after one of Dime’s all-nighters, I knew I had to share it.
That said, we obviously wouldn’t dream of doing anything with the footage without the permission of Dime’s nearest and dearest. So I called up his brother, Vinnie Paul, and his life-partner, Rita, to tell them what we’d got and what we’d like to do with it. Their response was immediate and identical: “Hell yeah! Run with it!” We’ve since edited the tape down to 13 minutes and, with the blessing of Dime’s family, Guitar World is proud to bring you “The Lost Lesson: Dime’s Instructional Destructional Home Video.”
Before we get started though, there are two things that quickly need clarifying:
01. Dime never intended this footage to be released; it was just done to help me tab-out his playing as accurately as possible. This said, despite its low-tech quality, it blows away most instructional videos, thanks to the man’s personality and playing!
02. Just so you aren’t left scratching your head over the “cholesterol level” wisecracks Dime makes on the footage, a few days before our Manhattan meeting I’d had a physical and was told to lay off red meat and beer because my cholesterol level was too high. Needless to say, that wasn’t going to happen on Dr. Dime’s watch—his staple diet was booze ‘n’ beef! Hence the cholesterol humor...
03. [Added in 2014] Note that we're publishing ONLY the videos from this exclusive 12-part lesson. The original lesson, which can be found in the June 2006 issue of Guitar World, features all 12 tabs and more. Enjoy!
Nick Bowcott and everyone at Guitar World would like to express our sincere thanks to Vinnie Paul and Rita for allowing us to use this precious footage of Dime. Much respect and Big Love, guys...