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Pantera's break-up may have led fan to kill

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Pantera's break-up may have led fan to kill

December 14, 2004

Nathan Gale was an oddball loner who craved friendship, a man in search of a calling.

A passionate fan of the heavy metal band Pantera, Gale apparently took the group's break-up in 2003 as an insult.

"When they broke up, I think he felt some kind of personal connection, like he felt left out or betrayed," said Mark Break, a former friend of Gale. "This kid listened to their albums every day. He was obsessed with Pantera."

Those feelings of betrayal may have led Gale, 25, to jump onstage at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus last Wednesday night and shoot guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott at least four times during a concert with his new band, Damageplan.

Abbott and his brother, Vinnie Paul Abbott, left Pantera last year to form Damageplan.

Vinnie Paul Abbott was onstage during the shooting but was not injured.

After shooting Darrell Abbott, Gale killed three and wounded two others before a police officer shot him dead.

Although Columbus police have not publicly discussed a motive, witnesses have said they heard Gale yell at Darrell Abbott, blaming him for Pantera's break-up.

Break said Gale was known for bizarre behaviour such as petting an imaginary dog and staring at walls while muttering to himself.

With thick glasses and the blue and white hockey jersey he wore the night of the shooting, Gale was often seen walking the streets of his hometown Marysville, listening to Pantera on his headphones.

At 190 centimetres and 121 kilograms, he was frequently the butt of jokes and uncomfortable around girls, Break said.

Gale graduated from high school in 1998 and laer completed a construction trade electrical program at a technical college.

He had minor run-ins with police over the years and bounced from job to job, working as a mechanic, landscaper and pavement cleaner.

He was discharged early from the US Marines a year ago, although the reason was unclear. A couple of friends said they had heard he suffered from mental illness.

Rich Cencula, owner of Minit Lube in Marysville, where Gale worked briefly, said Gale wanted to learn to box and dreamed of playing professional football.

Gale began playing semi-pro football recently for the Lima Thunder in Ohio.

But he continued to live in Marysville, a city of about 25,000 about 40 kilometres from Columbus, where many residents work for factories that produce products for Honda, Nestle, Goodyear and other companies.

Break said he and others began distancing themselves from Gale about eight months ago when he claimed Pantera stole lyrics from him and he spoke of killing others.

"He told me once that God told him to kill Marilyn Manson," Break said.

Autumn Bender, an employee at Bears Den tattoo parlour across from Gale's apartment on the town square, said she would sometimes have to ask him to leave because he stared at clients and made them uncomfortable.

Although Gale seemed at odds with many people, another acquaintance said he remained close to his mother, Mary Clark, a waitress at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge.

Clark did not return telephone calls seeking comment. A woman at her home who did not want to be identified said Gale's funeral would be private.

Looking back, Break said he now recalls signs that might have been a precursor to the killings.

"I wish I could have said something to somebody saying this guy could be dangerous, that this guy is just not right," Break said. "All of us were Pantera fans, but he took it past being a fan. He took it to an obsession."


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anyone notice his birthday on the license

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  • 3 weeks later...

something i came across on guitarist george lynch`s website..i thought that it was quite cool......

Thoughts on Dimebag

I remember the first time I met dime was back in the mid 80”s.

Pantera played with Dokken a lot in Texas. There was a chain of hard rock venues called Cardi’s and we would frequently share the stage with Pantera. This was without Phil and they were more of a hair band and Dime wasn’t called “Dime” yet and his playing was more in the VH vein.

I remember him and his band standing right at the front of the stage during our set and rocking out. He was just a skinny kid back then. He went on after us and just tore it up. I knew he was a special player that night. We talked a lot about gear. I remember he really liked the Randall RG-100’s I was using and planned on checking them out.

I’ve run into him a few other times over the years. Lynch Mob did some dates with them in the early 90s and we partied pretty hard. I remember thinking how can he drink this much and still play his ass off like he does.

I saw Dime and Vinnie at the NAMM show last year in Anaheim and they invited my daughter Mariah and I into their limo to listen to their new project, Damageplan. That blew us me away.

I guess there was a lot of bad blood between Phil and the brothers. I wonder if there was any connection between what happened to Dime and that running feud?

Dimebag’s playing was imaginative, soulful and technical. His music was brutal and unrelenting as was the manner in which he died. There’s no use in trying to make sense of the tragedy, just appreciate what he gave us in his life.

Events like this make me long for the good old days when our rock stars just OD’d and slipped away quietly into oblivion.

George Lynch....

:strumma: :strumma:

Edited by kiwibank
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