Guitarist Rich Ward (FOZZY, STUCK MOJO) has issued the following statement regarding the death of DAMAGEPLAN/ex-PANTERA guitarist Dimebag Darrell:
"I feel that we should all be hesitant to make any assumptions or to repeat Internet rumors, at least until they are substantiated. Even then, what would our motivation be to talk about his death? All the details will unfold in the coming days. I think our focus would be better served by celebrating Dime's life and how he and his music touched us all.
"When we were on tour with PANTERA, Dime was obsessed with repeating a phrase from the movie 'Pulp Fiction', 'Tell that bitch to chill.' . . . He had us all in stitches, as every few minutes you'd hear his voice echo through the arena, 'I said......TELL THAT BITCH TO CHILL.'
"At the time of our tour, PANTERA's head of security was a guy appropriately named, Big Val. After a few 'black tooths,' Bonz got a hair up his ass and said that he'd put phat cash on Corey (MOJO bassist) to beat Big Val in an arm wrestling contest. Well, it didn't take Dime and Vinnie two seconds to pull two huge rolls of cash out of their pockets. The room went nuts seeing Bonz' jaw drop as he realized his mouth was writing checks that his ass couldn't cash.
"The best story though was when we first met up with PANTERA at the Dynamo festival, which was the day before our tour started. We (MOJO) had a meeting, where we discussed playing it cool and not being too quick to be all up their (PANTERA's) ass.
"Let's face it, all of us in MOJO worshipped PANTERA and we wanted to earn their respect as well as being mindful of how annoying it was when the opening band hung out all day in your dressing room. But as all plans on tour are destined to fail, Bonz got drunk, forgot 'our agreement' and wandered out on stage with a shot of Crown Royal for Dime. This being the touring band's sign of friendship and respect, Dime smiled and leaned his head back. Then Bonz poured the shot in Dime's eye! He made the most awful face and staggered over blindly towards his tech, who tried to clean his eye with a wet towel. Mind you, he didn't stop playing and this was in front of a crowd of over fifty thousand people. He regained his sight after about two songs and later walked over to where I was standing, which was next to his tech. He looked at me, laughed and said, 'Goddamn man, if that shit stings your eye that bad, I wonder what it's doing to my stomach.'
"I'll miss you."