The Wisdom of Dimebag Darrell

Posted: December 2nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Feature story | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Background note: When I interviewed metal legend Dimebag Darrell for a Guitar One cover story, shortly before his death, in 2004, I warmed up with a query about his infamous hangover remedy. He was more than willing to share his secret, elaborating on the nuances he’d developed through painstaking research.

The riotous interview that followed featured many anecdotes that simply didn’t fit the context of the larger piece (on the then state of heavy metal), but reading back through them, I think they’re just too entertaining not to share. So here, published for the first time, in unexpurgated form, is the wisdom of Dimebag.

Raise a glass and read along (for heightened effect, imagine his words spoken by Yosemite Sam)—but follow his lifestyle lead at your own risk. Although a little too much was always enough for Dimebag (after all, it was a depraved fan’s bullet that ultimately brought him down, not the Crown Royal), most of us lack a guitar hero’s constitution and flexible hours.


What are you drinking today?

Fuck. You know I’m drinking Crown Royal, as much as I can fuckin’ handle. As
big as the barrels they can roll in. Let’s get it on. It’s time to rip the
goddamn world a brand new ass.


Booze dehydrates you; you have to have something to rehydrate you. I saw
this Pedialyte commercial on TV and I thought, “Fuck, you know, Gatorade—it
don’t quite get the job done.” And I went out and bought some of that shit
and chugged it and I felt a noticeable difference.

It’s kind of rough to get down sometimes ’cause it’s not as tasty as Gatorade, but, dude, it actually does help out. Dude, when you gotta get up and roll, you ain’t got no time
to fuckin’ sit around with a fuckin’ hangover. I mean, you gotta jump back into the main bottle—keep the demons rolling—but you gotta fuckin’ put something in there to rehydrate your ass.

You try to get some in you before you go to bed, so it can start working its
magic while you’re crashed out. And then when you wake up, you gotta get
some water down you. That was something I didn’t even know back in the early
days. I didn’t even know about none of that shit. And you grow up a little
and it’s like, Goddamn. Wait a minute—you gotta flush that shit out and
then put some more back in
. It’s like changing the oil on a car.


I just knew that whenever I hooked up with Zakk Wylde it was going to be an
explosion. And it was. I just know that Zakk’s a wild man and I’m a wild
man, and you put two of us together and something’s gonna happen.

Zakk was down here for a photo shoot, and we started tanking up all day long
and just had a fucking blast cutting up and telling stories. And he came
down and played on our new fuckin’ record and missed his flight as usual.
And instead of jumping on the next flight, this turned into a three-day
excursion. He came back from the airport, and we hung out and we’re still
fuckin’ slamming booze. We’re out playing games at this game place—air
hockey and shit—just fuckin’ rippin’ it up. And we ended up back at my
house listening to fuckin’ music in front of the jukebox on fuckin’ 20 and
slammin’ booze.

And I called my limo guy to come get him. This was at six in the morning. I
called him, woke him up, and he’s like, “Dude, I can’t get a limo, but I can
bring my wife’s Excursion over and drive the guy to the airport.” And I’m
like, “Well, just get here. He’s gotta get on a plane. He’s gotta get home
and do Christmas with his family.” And the dude showed up and he left his
car running, and me and Zakk jumped in it and went for the true blessed hell
ride. And, man, it was not fuckin’ pretty. We fuckin’ seriously mangled some
shit and got in a lot of trouble over it. But we got it all straightened
out. We know not to be playing with those kinds of toys. It was brutal.

And did he make his plane?

Fuck no! He missed that flight and then the dude took him anyway. They had
to call to get another car—that’s how bad the car was fucked up. We had to
buy the dude a brand new 2003 Ford Excursion and give him Zakk Wylde and
Dimebag guitars. And we had to replace some broken shit around the
neighborhood—some stop signs and shit. So Zakk goes to the airport and goes
to the fuckin’ bar, even though he’s supposed to be on the plane. So he
missed that flight and just ended up getting a fucking hotel and crashed for
another day. It wasn’t pretty. That’s the magic that happens when rock ‘n’
roll friends get together.


I know I’m missing some hearing in the 3K area where the cut of the guitar
is. I can’t wear earplugs, it’s like wearing a fuckin’ rubber—it just ain’t
cool, you know? I’m used to hearing it and feeling it. It’s definitely taken
some fuckin’ beating over the years. My ears never fuckin’ stop ringin’,
dude. If it’s quiet in my fuckin’ house that’s all I fuckin’
hear—Brrrrrrrrrr! So that’s why it’s never quiet here. I just keep
something rockin’. I don’t know–when you love it loud, you love it loud,
and that’s the only way you can enjoy it. You gotta feel those little hairs
in there just freakin’ out.

Dude, my bud David Allan Coe, who’s been doing it longer than all of us put
together, even though it’s country, he’s still got his shit cranked on ten.
And he’s got two hearing aids, and he uses ‘em when he really wants to hear
something. And when he doesn’t, he just seems peaceful-like—he just tunes out
the world. I guess that’s just part of the fuckin’ occupational hazard.

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