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Rob Halford: ‘I Cried My Eyes Out’ When I Learned of Dimebag’s Death

Rob Halford
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

As the accomplishments of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott have continued to live triumphantly through this seventh anniversary of his passing, metal’s biggest names have come out to show their respect and admiration for Dimebag. Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford recently spoke with Revolver about his friendship with the legendary guitarist.

“Priest was in Canada rehearsing for the ‘Painkiller’ tour. I was doing an interview from the hotel room and I turned the telly on to Much Music. The sound was turned off, and I saw this guy and he’s got a ‘British Steel’ T-shirt on,” Halford says about his first time seeing Dimebag. “I turned the volume up and he’s just talking about his band, Pantera, and ‘Cowboys From Hell’ … I saw a clip of the band. I was like, ‘My God, this guitar player is f—ing phenomenal.'”

Halford continues, “I told [Judas Priest guitarists] Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing specifically after that, “I’ve seen this band. They’re absolutely f—ing amazing and they are going to be huge.” So, to cut a long story short, we brought them with us on the Priest ‘Painkiller’ tour of Europe and nobody had a clue who they were … They would just win an audience over in 30, 40 minutes. From playing fresh, new music that nobody had heard before.”

Halford also spoke about when he heard the tragic news of Dimebag’s death. “My legs went from underneath me. I just hit the deck … I balled like a baby, like you should do. I just cried my eyes out. And you just don’t know what to do. You’re full of confusion, you’re full of anger, you want to f—ing smash things to pieces.”

During our recent interview with Judas Priest, Halford shared a quick memory of touring with Pantera in Europe. “When Pantera toured with Priest in 1991, they’d say, “Where’s the Circle-K dude?” [Laughs] I’d say “There’s no Circle-K in Paris, Dimebag.””

Check out Rob Halford’s full interview with Revolver about “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott.


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