Fan Rock Radio recently conducted an interview with Chris A., author of the book about the murder of PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, "A Vulgar Display Of Power: Courage And Carnage At The Alrosa Villa". A couple of excerpts follow:
Fan Rock Radio: Chris, how did the idea to write a book focusing the horrific murder of club employee Erin Halk, show attendee Nathan Bray and DAMAGEPLAN's security guard, Jeff "Mayhem" Thompson on that tragic day (December 8th, 2004) come?
Chris A.: After listening to the news and media reports of the crime, over time the names of Erin Halk, Jeff Thompson and Nathan Bray faded away. I personally wanted to know more about these men. I had heard they showed incredible courage and I felt compelled to try to do something to recognize their heroism.
Fan Rock Radio: Did you knew Jeffery "Mayhem", Erin and Nathan in person before that?
Chris A.: No sir, I never knew any of the folks involved with that sad evening. However, I know many of them now and am proud to say they are my friends.
Fan Rock Radio: Did you face some difficulties during the writing?
Chris A.: There were many problems in writing the book. The first and foremost was to do my utmost to limit the amount of pain and anguish to the families. I tried to very carefully and gently express my desires and asked for their cooperation. I was very pleased to get a good response. I soon discovered that trying to write such a complex, moving story was very taxing and emotionally draining. I spent many, many night lying awake in bed contemplating the best approach to putting all the pieces together honestly but in such a manner as to keep the "flow." Anyone who knows me would tell you that I'm not a "spiritual" sort of person but I have to admit there were times when I was working on this book that I believe I was helped. Other problems included an element of people who for some reason seemed to think the focus of the book was on Dimebag and that I was simply a pariah trying to capitalize on his death. I'm sorry to say I've recieved many threatening, insensitive and exceptionally sad messages from people who I've never met and who have never read the book. I certainly hope that evaporates when the book is released.
Fan Rock Radio: MJS Music Publications will contribute a portion of the proceeds from every copy of "A Vulgar Display Of Power: Courage and Carnage at the Alrosa Villa" to the Anthony Bray Scholarship Fund to benefit Nathan's son, Anthony Bray. How did the idea for this charity action came?
Chris A.: The idea to give something to the families was always a part of the plan. Normally when a book is published there is a book release party. Well I didn't really feel like a "party" in the traditional sense was something I wanted to do. I did however want to celebrate the release of the book and decided that the most appropriate way to do it would be to have a benefit book signing. I spoke with the families of Erin Halk, Jeff Thompson and Nathan Bray and collectively everyone agreed that proceeds should go to the Anthony Bray College Fund. Nathan Bray was the only person killed who was married and had a child. It says a lot about the Halks and the Thompsons that they would defer benefits to Anthony's college fund. I'm also working on several other benefit events including one in New Jersey and another for Dallas, Texas.
Fan Rock Radio: What is your comment on the message the family of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott released earlier in the year? [The message stated] "The family of the late 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott has not authorized anyone in the past or present to author a book on his life. If you are approached by anyone asking for your cooperation for an interview, either 'on or off the record,' we respectfully request you decline and we thank you in advance for your respect and consideration in this matter."
Chris A.: Sure. The Abbott family declined to speak with me about the book but they have been aware that I was working on it since approximately June of 2006. I did my utmost to make it clear that my book was absolutely not a biography on Dimebag. That is certainly not my book to write and would have never even considered trying to create a bio on Dime without the express consent and cooperation of at least one direct member of his family. Since the press release was issued in January 2007, I don't for a moment believe it was directed towards my book. In fact by the time of the press release my book was finished and at the publishers. I believe the Abbotts took a proactive stance in the event someone did try to write a biography about Dime without the cooperation of the family. I personally believe that Dimebag's legacy is best told by his family or a writer commissioned by his family to do so. I have great respect for the man, the music and the legacy of Dimebag Darrell Abbott.
Read the entire interview at www.fanrockradio.com.