I'm a fan of heavy metal music, although usually more specifically progressive heavy metal. Nevertheless, I enjoy straight-ahead, ass-kicking, hard-core metal quite a bit, and they don't come much harder core than Pantera. Thus, I was saddened to hear that Dimebag Darrell, their lead guitarist, was fatally shot while performing with his new band Damageplan last night. At this time, it's unclear whether his brother Vinnie Paul (formerly Pantera's drummer) was also shot, and if shot, whether he was killed. I certainly hope not for the sake of their family.
Dimebag was a huge influence on an entire generation of metal and nonmetal musicians. It's not unfair to compare the impact of his death on the musicians I most enjoy to that of the death of John Lennon on his generation...especially when you realize that Lennon was also killed on December 8th.