“Headbangers Ball” is back with a vengeance over at MTV2, where host Jose Mangin gives metalheads their weekly dose of heavy riffs and thrashing vocals. And each week we’ll dive into the show for some metal immersion therapy and come back to you with the five most face-melting moments for metal purists and noobs alike.
This week on the Ball, Jose Mangin took a trip down to Pantera country for the seventh annual March of Dime Day in honor of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, one of the most influential metal guitarists of all time. When this founding member of Pantera and Damageplan strapped on the guitar, some of the most guttural (and recognizable) metal sounds spewed forth. Unfortunately, in one of the most shocking moments in rock history, Dimebag was fatally gunned down (along with four others) during a 2004 performance in Ohio. Dimebag would’ve turned 45 this week, so in his honor, here’s the Face-Melting 5…he wouldn’t have had it any other way.
1. Start off with some vintage Dimebag shredding
Pantera’s “Mouth for War” shows how Dimebag was the complete package: He was a master craftsmen of riffs, he could jackhammer speed-thrash with the best of them, and his blistering solo tone is the sound you think of when you think “heavy-metal guitar.”
2. At the “Ride for Dime,” you’re bound to run into some guitar heavyweights
While talking choppers and barbecue at “Ride for Dime” 2011, Mangin bumped into Curse Mackey of Dean Guitars–Dimebag’s ax of choice. And for anyone who says metal isn’t art, take heed: Mackey curates the Dimebag Darrell Art Tribute, in which rock icons from Dave Grohl to Ozzy Osbourne paint their own Dean ML (Dimebag’s model).
3. Rita Haney will probably drink you under the table
No wonder Dimebag dated her. Any woman who can throw back a Black Tooth like that is unequivocally metal.
4. “Ride for Dime” ensures the riffs will keep on coming
“Ride for Dime” started as a small way to remember “the big beard in the sky” and has morphed into a motorcycle motorcade behemoth across the country. But it’s not just a beer-drinking, beef-grilling, heavy-metal getaway. Proceeds go to the Ride for Dime scholarship fund as well as Little Kids Rock, which donates instruments to schoolchildren. So that first-chair flautist may not know it, but she is straight-up hard rock.
5. When you’re talking about a badass like Dimebag, it’s OK to cry
Jose made his first trip to Dimebag’s grave site, in the heart of Pantera country. Mangin was understandably choked up when he faced the memorial of one of his music heroes, which was adorned with guitar picks, photos and some birthday balloons. Dimebag will be missed, but his ferocious music lives on.