trading-giftsIf you were to imagine what a party at late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott’s would be like, you’d probably imagine a pretty raucous scene – rock stars, drugs and lots of black tooth grins. Photographer Matthew Salacus got to spend what turned out to be Dimebag’s last Christmas with him, and all of those things turned out to be correct. In an article for Vice, Salacus, who’d been invited to Dime’s party after photographing him for some guitar magazines, busts out some decade-old photos of his Christmas party. Perhaps what’s most interesting about his photos and memory of the party is how normal a lot of it was:

There were dudes with ponytails and women in mom jeans, and Dimebag was beneath a black, upside-down Christmas tree passing out presents like spice racks and potpourri.

Yet despite the suburban setting and spice racks, the party still heated up. He mentions (and has a photo of) a friend that brought over a stop sign that he’d hit on a drunken joyride, not to mention that there was an upside down Christmas tree with a smoke machine rigged up to it. And even more importantly, when Alice In Chain’s Jerry Cantrell showed up to the party, he brought a gift – a “fist-size Ziploc of white powder in a decorative holiday bag with a rolled-up dollar bill taped to it.” Yeah, so that happened. It’s since been pointed out that it was a gag gift, and wasn’t actually coke, but it still strikes us as a little distasteful for Salacus to show pictures of what was obviously a private party. On the other hand, everyone genuinely seems to be having a great time in what would turn out to be the last Christmas Dime celebrated before having his life taken from him less than a year later.

You can view the rest of the pictures here.