Dimebag Darrell’s widow speaks about honourary stage at Download

Pantera guitarist's 'influence still strong' says Rita Haney-Abbott

Rita Haney-Abbott, widow of the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, has spoken to NME.COM about her joy at the re-naming of Download’s second stage in his honour.

“Dimebag” Darrel Abbot was shot dead by paranoid shizophrenic Nathan Gale, while playing with his band Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Ohio on 8 December 2004.

“It’s nice that everyone here remembers him as well,” explained his widow. “When I found out, it really made me smile. It was a good thing to wake up to.”


She was first informed that the stage had been re-named via Dimebag’s brother and ex-bandmate, Vinnie Paul.

Haney-Abbott has since been invited to Download as a guest of honour by event organisers.

She added she saw the stage name as a lasting testament to the metal guitarist in the bands he influenced.

“There are a hell of a lot of bands who are influenced by Darrell,” she said. “His musical legacy is massive.”

That’s it for this year’s Download Festival, but you can get all the news, reviews, blogs and pictures from the event – plus those from Isle of Wight, which also took place this weekend – at NME.COM/festivals now.

Photo Gallery | Blog | Main Stage Review


Dimebag Darrell Stage Review

Plus make sure you check out next week’s issue of NME – on UK newsstands from June 13 – for exclusive coverage of all the weekend’s action.