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Pantera Tour? Hard Pass


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I'm about to go into this way more than anyone cares. But it's Sunday, and for the first time in weeks, I actually have nothing to do on a Sunday.

I think the thing that makes this so polarizing is precisely what @geoff_hartwell was saying.

Most of the people I knew who loved Pantera back in the day loved the band for Dime and Vinnie. Phil had the perfect voice for what they were doing on those albums, and there's a reason they took off when he joined the band. I won't take that away from him, but a lot of us also saw him as this a great singer insisting on doing this cringe impression of Henry Rollins.

Hell, when I used to gig in Jackson, MS, back in high school, the sound guy at one of the bars there used to be in a hair metal act that played a lot with Phil's band Razor White and had a photo album full of Zebra-spandexed, teased-out haired Phil Anselmo. The notion Phil joined that band and made them heavy... I've always thought that was some creative history. There's plenty of pictures of Dimebag back in the "Diamond Darrell" days hanging out with James Hetfield and Kerry King from when those guys came through Dallas in the 80s. It's not like the Abbott Bros. weren't consuming a lot of thrash along with the steady diet of Judas Priest, Kiss, and ZZ Top. 

The strongest argument for Phil affecting Pantera's sound is that he did have a pretty tight connection to Exhorder being from New Orleans and all, who happened to sound like this:

Exhorder were doing this album around the same time that Pantera was doing Vulgar, though this one did come up first. There previous album was more of a Thrash affair, but still... It's always been uncanny.  Plus, Phil's first album with Pantera sounded like this:
 

You could already hear this sound starting to show up in Exhorder's music all the way back in 1987.
 

My guess is that they all had a guess that music was changing pretty radically and the days of shit like P.S.T. '88 had to go. Dime bag has always been pretty shameless about lifting riffs he dug from other bands (check out Helmet's "Unsung" then listen to Pantera's "Rise"), which he would 100% admit, so who knows for sure, but I suspect all of this is more than mere coincidence and was definitely a direction for the band pushed by no one specific person.  Even with Far Beyond Driven, you hear all the guys in Pantera mention how everyone got soft so they carried the flag by getting heavier. Maybe that was sticking to their guns? Maybe that was realizing bands like Megadeth and Metallica just left a giant vacuum they could exploit to grow their own fanbase? Maybe both? I had a very good friend who worked for Jerry Abbott, their dad, for a couple of years at Abtrax in Nashville and hung out with them numerous times. Vinnie and Dime were a bit more shrewd about their careers than a lot of folks would suspect from watching the Pantera home videos and so on. 

Anyway, all that speculation aside, there was nonetheless a strong pocket of Pantera fans who thought Phil was they guy who made them, the real deal Alpha male who made Glamtera a bunch of groove metal badasses single handedly. And they bought into the whole Rollins-cum-metal persona Phil was putting out there. They may have been the jocks you knew who were blasting "Walk" before football games or the proto-INCEL types in the 90s who thought "This Love" and "Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills" were wise words on how to look at women, but that group was always there.

So when Anselmo starts popping off in interviews post-breakup quips about how Dime deserves a beating, well, I don't know how to explain it unless you knew the Pantera fanbase pretty well. There were a lot of antisocial malcontents (I'm being generous here) who just fucking hero worshiped Phil Anselmo. That bit about Dime deserving a beating came a week before he got shot. 

The fact of the matter is that no one knows why Nathan Gale shot Dimebag that night for sure, and there's not any strong evidence for there being any particular motive, much less that Phil was it. However, it's easy to understand why everyone from Vinnie to Dime's girlfriend, Rita, to millions of Pantera fans thought his comments played a role. Plus, to my knowledge, Phil has never really taken ownership of those statements without some caveat, like saying it could have just as easily had been him. 

Like I said in my initial post, I think Phil and Rex have every right to go play these tunes, and it sound reasonable that Dime would probably forgive Phil of the whole stupid thing were he around to do so. Band's breaking up just isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. I'm also pretty sure that Vinnie never would have. I don't think Zakk would be involved if all there was to it was a shameless money grab. I'm sure he won't mind the paycheck, but I'd bet he genuinely feels like if it's going to happen, no one will do it with the genuine sincerity he will. He still drops Vinnie and Dime backdrops when he plays "In this River," and while part of me thinks it's corny as hell to see all the Pantera heads lose their minds so predictably, I also have to admit I think it's pretty cool. 

But due to all the above history, I am in the camp who would be much more excited about checking this out possibly if they just wouldn't call it Pantera. Believe it or not, I'm not a Pantera nut as much as I'm just a real geek for metal history (hence this utterly ridiculous post). However, those albums are a part of growing up for me too, as is everyone involved in it, and calling it Pantera makes it seem less about honoring the music and more about Phil, and to some extent Rex, desperately trying to stay relevant. I think most every Pantera head knows what they brought to the band, and I think plenty of people would spend money to see this line-up do Pantera material -excitedly so - without trying to pass this off as a legit version of Pantera. Because hovering over all of this is that everyone, myself included, is pretty sure Pantera would have gotten back together if Dime had never been killed. And for a lot of those folks (not necessarily myself), it's still hard to believe that Phil's statements didn't have some role in why that reunion can never happen. 
 

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18 hours ago, LucSulla said:

I'm about to go into this way more than anyone cares. But it's Sunday, and for the first time in weeks, I actually have nothing to do on a Sunday.

I think the thing that makes this so polarizing is precisely what @geoff_hartwell was saying.

Most of the people I knew who loved Pantera back in the day loved the band for Dime and Vinnie. Phil had the perfect voice for what they were doing on those albums, and there's a reason they took off when he joined the band. I won't take that away from him, but a lot of us also saw him as this a great singer insisting on doing this cringe impression of Henry Rollins.

Hell, when I used to gig in Jackson, MS, back in high school, the sound guy at one of the bars there used to be in a hair metal act that played a lot with Phil's band Razor White and had a photo album full of Zebra-spandexed, teased-out haired Phil Anselmo. The notion Phil joined that band and made them heavy... I've always thought that was some creative history. There's plenty of pictures of Dimebag back in the "Diamond Darrell" days hanging out with James Hetfield and Kerry King from when those guys came through Dallas in the 80s. It's not like the Abbott Bros. weren't consuming a lot of thrash along with the steady diet of Judas Priest, Kiss, and ZZ Top. 

The strongest argument for Phil affecting Pantera's sound is that he did have a pretty tight connection to Exhorder being from New Orleans and all, who happened to sound like this:

Exhorder were doing this album around the same time that Pantera was doing Vulgar, though this one did come up first. There previous album was more of a Thrash affair, but still... It's always been uncanny.  Plus, Phil's first album with Pantera sounded like this:
 

You could already hear this sound starting to show up in Exhorder's music all the way back in 1987.
 

My guess is that they all had a guess that music was changing pretty radically and the days of shit like P.S.T. '88 had to go. Dime bag has always been pretty shameless about lifting riffs he dug from other bands (check out Helmet's "Unsung" then listen to Pantera's "Rise"), which he would 100% admit, so who knows for sure, but I suspect all of this is more than mere coincidence and was definitely a direction for the band pushed by no one specific person.  Even with Far Beyond Driven, you hear all the guys in Pantera mention how everyone got soft so they carried the flag by getting heavier. Maybe that was sticking to their guns? Maybe that was realizing bands like Megadeth and Metallica just left a giant vacuum they could exploit to grow their own fanbase? Maybe both? I had a very good friend who worked for Jerry Abbott, their dad, for a couple of years at Abtrax in Nashville and hung out with them numerous times. Vinnie and Dime were a bit more shrewd about their careers than a lot of folks would suspect from watching the Pantera home videos and so on. 

Anyway, all that speculation aside, there was nonetheless a strong pocket of Pantera fans who thought Phil was they guy who made them, the real deal Alpha male who made Glamtera a bunch of groove metal badasses single handedly. And they bought into the whole Rollins-cum-metal persona Phil was putting out there. They may have been the jocks you knew who were blasting "Walk" before football games or the proto-INCEL types in the 90s who thought "This Love" and "Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills" were wise words on how to look at women, but that group was always there.

So when Anselmo starts popping off in interviews post-breakup quips about how Dime deserves a beating, well, I don't know how to explain it unless you knew the Pantera fanbase pretty well. There were a lot of antisocial malcontents (I'm being generous here) who just fucking hero worshiped Phil Anselmo. That bit about Dime deserving a beating came a week before he got shot. 

The fact of the matter is that no one knows why Nathan Gale shot Dimebag that night for sure, and there's not any strong evidence for there being any particular motive, much less that Phil was it. However, it's easy to understand why everyone from Vinnie to Dime's girlfriend, Rita, to millions of Pantera fans thought his comments played a role. Plus, to my knowledge, Phil has never really taken ownership of those statements without some caveat, like saying it could have just as easily had been him. 

Like I said in my initial post, I think Phil and Rex have every right to go play these tunes, and it sound reasonable that Dime would probably forgive Phil of the whole stupid thing were he around to do so. Band's breaking up just isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. I'm also pretty sure that Vinnie never would have. I don't think Zakk would be involved if all there was to it was a shameless money grab. I'm sure he won't mind the paycheck, but I'd bet he genuinely feels like if it's going to happen, no one will do it with the genuine sincerity he will. He still drops Vinnie and Dime backdrops when he plays "In this River," and while part of me thinks it's corny as hell to see all the Pantera heads lose their minds so predictably, I also have to admit I think it's pretty cool. 

But due to all the above history, I am in the camp who would be much more excited about checking this out possibly if they just wouldn't call it Pantera. Believe it or not, I'm not a Pantera nut as much as I'm just a real geek for metal history (hence this utterly ridiculous post). However, those albums are a part of growing up for me too, as is everyone involved in it, and calling it Pantera makes it seem less about honoring the music and more about Phil, and to some extent Rex, desperately trying to stay relevant. I think most every Pantera head knows what they brought to the band, and I think plenty of people would spend money to see this line-up do Pantera material -excitedly so - without trying to pass this off as a legit version of Pantera. Because hovering over all of this is that everyone, myself included, is pretty sure Pantera would have gotten back together if Dime had never been killed. And for a lot of those folks (not necessarily myself), it's still hard to believe that Phil's statements didn't have some role in why that reunion can never happen. 
 

I appreciate your analysis of the situation.  I've never really listened to Pantera (I can vaguely remember how one of their riffs goes), but I couldn't help but be aware of them and I would read interviews in guitar magazines with Dime because he was considered such a hot player and big influence on music of that era.  I didn't know the part about Anselmo saying Dime deserved a beating right before he got shot.  If I were Phil I'd be more than a little apprehensive about going out at all, much less under the Pantera name.  People are nucking futz.

 

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If they call it Pantera, rest assured that a lot of the impetus for it will come from the promoters. They'll move more tickets on the back of that brand equity.

Also, you can bet a lot of the detractors will end up at the shows. Online banter is similar to political polls. People say one thing and do another all the time.

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Scanning through the usual commentary sites online, it seems most of the consternation is within people old enough to have seen them the first time around.  Seems the folks younger than me, say 25-35 in particular, are pretty stoked. 

I'll go check it out if it's close and not stupid expensive just to see Zakk and Charlie doing Pantera tunes. I'd go see that without the other two to be honest just out of pure curiosity. 

I'll also continue to think Phil is a douchebag and Rex was just in the right place at the right time. 

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Posted (edited)

I’m not gonna begrudge Phil and Rex trying to cash in a bit on a phenomenon they contributed to. But it’s not Pantera, and I have no desire to see a tribute to Pantera. Let’s face it, Pantera, like most successful bands, was the sum total of its parts. They were a fierce, dynamic unit. Once you remove critical elements in that equation, you greatly diminish the likelihood that it it’s going to have the same visceral impact. Just my .02

Edited by diablo175
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Vivian Campbell and the original members of Dio came up with the name Last In Line.  Craig Goldy and some others formed Dio Disciples.  No one calls themselves Dio even if they have a claim to parts of the band's history.

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LIVE, IN CONCERT!

CFH 

featuring:

PHIL ANSELMO

REX BROWN 

ZAKK WYLDE

CHARLIE BENANTE

 

There. No mention of the, "P-word", and no one gets butt-hurt. Why would anyone have a problem with this?

 

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57 minutes ago, RobB said:

LIVE, IN CONCERT!

CFH 

featuring:

PHIL ANSELMO

REX BROWN 

ZAKK WYLDE

CHARLIE BENANTE

 

There. No mention of the, "P-word", and no one gets butt-hurt. Why would anyone have a problem with this?

 

I think "Cowboys from Hell" is actually a pretty rad name for this. 

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13 hours ago, LucSulla said:

I think "Cowboys from Hell" is actually a pretty rad name for this. 

I said the same thing, but there's already a tribute band out there called Cowboys from Hell (and the inevitable female version Cowgirls from Hell).

 

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4 hours ago, tommy p said:

I said the same thing, but there's already a tribute band out there called Cowboys from Hell (and the inevitable female version Cowgirls from Hell).

 

Just the initials, not the entire phrase. Doubtful any potential consumers would confuse them with a tribute outfit.

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1 hour ago, Ed Rechts said:

They should name this project the "OVER DIME'S DEAD BODY REUNION TOUR" to show a fucking glint of integrity for this pathetic cash grab.

Hey, if Zack Wylde is indeed promoting this tour, he should have Slayer on the ticket too with himself in the Jeff Hanneman  slot, and Black Label Society could open the whole card.

Dang. I was mulling the idea of a Damage Plan tribute project, but now I feel it would be an inapropes move. 

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