There are myriad reasons why GP should do a cover story on Dimebag, and his passing was so far down the list as to be near invisible. But here we are. I wish to express the GP staff’s heartfelt condolences to Dimebag’s family and friends, and to anyone who was ever inspired, excited, and/or kicked in the ass by his feral intensity. In addition, his steadfast belief in doing what he felt was right, rather than changing or watering-down his style to “fit in” with current trends, is a valuable lesson for all musicians. For that alone, he deserves the title of artist, and, like most musical innovators, his personal truths are echoed by the legions of players he influenced. And while he was a guitar-crazy, hell-raisin’ wild man, he was also extremely sweet and accommodating to his fans. The fact he was a victim of such violence while giving his all to an audience is ironic, sad, and, ultimately, senseless.
This issue also debuts GP’s partnership with Musicnotes.com that lets you select a full-song transcription from a list of 15 titles that will change each month. Now you have the freedom to match your mood by choosing a jazz standard, a rock hit, an instrumental, or whatever you feel like playing. You’re no longer at the mercy of some editor making your decision for you. So go crazy, play hard, have a blast. It’s all on you. Enjoy.