16 years ago, December of 2003, I was a 14 year old kid with only hopes and dreams to once play in a band and go on tour. I had heard that Dimebag Darrel was doing an autograph signing at Sam Ash in Carle Place, NY. Of course being a huge Pantera fan, I HAD to go. Showing up at about 11am, my Dad and I waited outside in the freezing cold for almost 8 hours. Finally a black limo shows up and out steps Dime, sporting his BLS vest and Camo shorts. As I patiently waited, I hear screaming coming from inside. The first kid on line was given a Crybaby from Hell. Obviously I was a little jealous but I was happy for him. As the two kids in front of me (Who ended becoming lifelong friends) walk up to dime, my excitement level went through the roof. I was next.
Dime called me over and I was a nervous wreck. Here's this dude who I look up to, welcoming me and shooting the shit with me. At this point, I gave him my guitar and he says "Man, I'm gunna have to sign between my two best friends". I had previously had my guitar signed by Zakk Wylde and Kerry King. He signed right behind the bridge on my Warlock. My mouth was fumbling at the words "thank you", but he got the point. Dime then looked at me and asked "You play guitar, man?". Again fumbling at my words I say "yeah I've been playing for about 4 years"... Without hesitation, my dad, in true Big Tim fashion, said "Yeah and I've been paying for lessons for 4 years! Hah".
Little did I know, that day would help shape me who I am as a musician. How he treated fans was something that I respected and I try to do my best to act the same. Without the friends and fans that support our bands, we wouldn't be where we are today. Until next time..