Among the many bands he was inspired by, an act the late Dimebag Darrell admired very much was KISS; in fact, he cared about KISS so much that, when it came time for the guitarist’s burial, he was buried in a KISS casket that was gifted to his family by Gene Simmons.
While chatting with Chris Killian of The Daily Distraction (associated with ComicBook.com), the KISS bassist was asked if it’s true that Dimebag was buried in a KISS casket. Simmons not only confirms that it’s true but also shares that the casket Dime was buried in came from Simmons’ own personal collection.
Talking about Dimebag Darrell being buried in a KISS casket, Simmons says (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“That is true. Dimebag had [original KISS guitarist] Ace [Frehley] tattooed on his chest. Tragically he was killed onstage by a lunatic who shot him in the head. Dime’s family reached out. And I had a few KISS caskets, different kinds. And I actually sent one from my collection, and he was indeed buried in a KISS casket, yeah.”
It was a really kind gesture on Simmons’ part to gift that KISS casket to Dime’s family; it must’ve meant a great deal to the Abbotts, given how much Dime adored KISS.
Elsewhere in this conversation, the bassist also talked about several iconic metal artists who have been inspired by KISS, mentioning Dimebag as one of them:
“Kirk Hammett cut his teeth on KISS records, and that’s Metallica. And Dime was in Pantera. But it runs the gamut… You know, at a certain point, when you’re 13 or whatever and you’re a guy in the middle of nowhere… Tom Morello [Rage Against the Machine] did our acceptance speech, or the introduction to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and his story, actually, was very inspiring about being a kid in the middle of America, not having enough things to inspire him or get him thinking about other possibilities and stuff. And he started talking about KISS and about how getting those records wasn’t just how to play guitar and get up on stage, but opening up the ideas of imagination, the visual sense of things.
“And I’ve met all sorts of people, not just rockers and so on, but people from different walks of life who say, ‘This was important to me in my childhood.’ And listen, that’s the biggest… It’s not so much that they’re celebrities, but it’s a good piece in my heart. But I will tell you, nothing — and I mean nothing — competes with a five-year-old kid who lives, breathes and eats KISS. When you see a five-year-old kid in KISS makeup sitting on the shoulders of his father, who’s got his own makeup on, next to his father, who’s 50 or 60 years old, and they’re all rocking out at the show, and when the kid finally [flashes the ‘devil’s horns’ hand gesture], it doesn’t get better.”
What do you think of KISS’ impact on rock and metal? Do you consider them one of the most influential bands of all time?