Thousands waited in line in near-freezing temperatures last night (Dec. 14) to pay tribute at a memorial service in Arlington, Texas, for slain rock star "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Thousands waited in line in near-freezing temperatures last night (Dec. 14) to pay tribute at a memorial service in Arlington, Texas, for slain rock star "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. Security was tight; guards used screening wands on grieving fans as they arrived for the public mourning of the former guitarist for hard rock acts Damageplan and Pantera.

Messages such as "RIP Dime" and "Honk, honk for Dimebag, Peace in the after life" were scrawled on cars in the convention center parking lot. A high-pitched guitar solo blared from a pickup.

Abbott, 38, was shot to death in Columbus, Ohio, last week while performing with Damageplan. Three others also were killed before police killed 25-year-old gunman Nathan Gale, described as an obsessed fan.

"A legend died on Wednesday night. I guarantee I'll be telling my kids about this day and the day that he died," said Skyler Smith, 18. "My heart was broken."

Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell said he had been at a private funeral earlier in the day, and called the service "beautiful. Today's really been the start of the healing process," he said, adding that he was heartened by fans who came to the public memorial. "It makes me feel a lot better."

Fans cheered the arrival of flower arrangements in the shape of guitars and a display with the words "Crown the Moment, Crown Royal," a reference to Abbott's favorite brand of whiskey.

Rick Cunningham, 48, former lead singer for the Dallas band Rage, was among those who waited in the long line for the service, and one of a few who wore a suit and tie. He said he'd known Abbott for 20 years.

"It's terrible, man. He was the nicest fella you would ever want to meet," he said.


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