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Darrell Lance Abbott was born in Ennis, Texas, on August 20, 1966, the second son to Carolyn and Jerry Abbott, a country music producer. His elder brother Vinnie Paul was born on March 11, 1964. Abbott’s parents divorced in 1979, after seventeen years of marriage, but his family life remained happy. The brothers lived with their mother Carolyn, in a ranch-style house on Monterrey Street in Arlington. Carolyn was supportive of her sons’ musical endeavors Vinnie had begun playing the drums before Darrell received his first guitar. Darrell had previously tried to play the drums; Vinnie later said: “I just got better than him and wouldn’t let him play them anymore.” The Abbott brothers’ first jam session consisted of six hours of “Smoke on the Water”. They took inspiration from Alex and Eddie Van Halen, and Vinnie said in a 2016 interview that he and Darrell were “inseparable” after they began playing music together.