Robb Flynn says Dimebag Darrell smashed his guitar but made it up with a personal replacement

Robb Flynn (left) and Dimebag Darrell
(Image credit: Mike Lewis Photography / James Cumpsty / Getty)

Robb Flynn was recently interviewed by YouTuber Ola Englund and took the opportunity to recall his time on the road with Dimebag Darrell in the late 1990s. 

In particular, Flynn shared a story about a Dimebag misadventure on an Ozzfest tour that led to the loss of one the Machine Head electric guitar player's ESPs. 

Flynn says Dimebag had been on a 24-hour bender at the time. He then recalls standing stage-side as mutual tour mates Coal Chamber performed and Dimebag drunkenly wandered on and off-stage – in the middle of their set. 

“He kind of looks over,” Flynn tells Englund (as transcribed by Ultimate Guitar (opens in new tab)). “I see him looking at my guitar boat... And I'm like, ‘Hmmm...’ And he walks over, grabs my backup guitar – it’s just like a piece of shit ESP – and he's just fuckin’ jammin’, and he looks at me again, and then he walks out on stage again!

“Everybody goes crazy... And you know, he's not plugged in. He's just out there, playing my guitar. I don't even think he's playing their song; he's probably playing Eruption or something. And it's their last song... and he picks up my guitar, and he goes – headstock first – right into the fucking ground. And I was like, ‘Dude!’ I was fucking pissed. And he just walks off the other side of the stage! And I'm like, ‘Motherfucker!’”

Hilariously, Flynn notes that despite all expectations that Pantera’s set would be “a fucking disaster," Dimebag nonetheless delivered. 

“We go out front – partially to just go, ‘Hope it's okay,’ and partially just to see the trainwreck we're probably about to witness – and that dude gets out there – and literally plays a fucking flawless show. Just every fucking note, every lead... Dude doesn't miss a note. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I never would have believed that someone that fucking shit[faced] – he had been drinking for 24 hours straight at this point, and he fucking killed it. And I'm like, ‘You're a fucker.’”

Fortunately, there’s a happy end to the tale. Flynn relates how a sober and remorseful Dimebag approached him the next day to not just apologize but also ensure he was reimbursed for twice what the guitar was worth. But there was more to come...

“We play a few more shows, and then we're playing The Aragon Ballroom in Chicago,” recalls Flynn. “And it's our last song… And I hear – [Dime] always called me Carjacker – and he whispers, ‘Carjacker!’ And I'm like, ‘What are you doing here?’ And he says, ‘Let me get on the mic! I've got something to say!’

“And he’s like, ‘[Dime addresses audience] My boy Robb here – I was kinda drunk the other night, and I blew up his guitar! I want to give him’ – he'd just launched his Washburn; it was still in the prototype phase. He's like, ‘I’m givin’ him one of my Washburn guitars here,’ and he handed me [the guitar] on stage at the Aragon Ballroom. And I was like, ‘Wow, dude.’ He'd already paid me back... It was just the type of guy he was. Such a fuckin’ huge heart, larger than life.”

To listen to Flynn’s full conversation with Englund, check out the video above, or head to Ola Englund’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab)

Another guitar that passed through Dimebag’s hands resurfaced recently, in the form of his final Dime Razorback Stealth USA Custom Shop model, nicknamed “The Clubhouse”.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.