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Rex Brown Says He Didn’t Agree With Vinnie Paul Blaming Phil Anselmo For Indirectly Causing The Murder Of Dimebag Darrell


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Amid his newly released episode of Gibson TV‘s ‘Icon‘ documentary series, Pantera bassist/vocalist Rex Brown weighed in on some of the controversy that has surrounded the groove metal titans since they hung it up back in 2003.

Amid an ugly breakup in the early 2000s, a war of words between Phil Anselmo and the band’s late brotherly duo of the “Dimebag” Darrell and Vinnie Paul Abbott emerged. That bad blood spilled over into the press via a 2004 Metal Hammer interview, in which Anselmo outlined his feud with Dimebag at the time.

Anselmo said of the divide that festered between himself and “Dimebag” in the Xmas 2004 edition of that publication:

“…It lies between Dimebag and I. There was never a point when he could not get drunk. Which was pretty much every day. And now I’m hearing it’s worse than ever.

He would attack me, vocally. And just knowing that he was so much smaller than me I could kill him like a fuckin’ piece of vapor, you know, he would turn into vapor — his chin would, at least, if I fuckin’ smacked it. And he knows that. The world should know that. So physically, of course, he deserves to be beaten severely.

But of course, that’s criminal and I won’t do such a thing… Really, I just let him prattle on. I grew very tired of it very quickly, and whenever it came up, like it has come up today, I just chose to wish them the best of luck. And in all honesty I really wish that they would be men, which is very hard for them, figuring that they were living in their mother’s house until they’re 30 years old.

In comparison, I was on the street by choice at the age of 15, living anywhere I could — but living, and successfully living, through my will.”

That interview was conducted roughly ten weeks prior to the incident that took place on December 08th of 2004, where a deranged apparent fan stormed the stage while the Abbott brothers were performing onstage with their post-Pantera outfit Damageplan.

Brandishing a sidearm, the individual proceeded to murder Dimebag onstage in Columbus, OH. The band’s head of security Jeffrey “Mayhem” Thompson, as well as a fan and employee of the venue were also murdered by the assailant, with several others also being wounded before the individual was shot dead by a police officer attending the scene.

While there was never official evidence presented of the killer’s motivations, Vinnie Paul would go on to blame Anselmo for indirectly causing the murder of his brother that night, seemingly intent that Anselmo comments and actions in the press helped to inspire the shooter’s actions. As such, Vinnie Paul was widely reported to have refused all attempts by Anselmo to mend fences in the years up until his own death in 2018 due to heart disease.

In 2014, Vinnie once again distanced himself from a then consistent rumor of Pantera reuniting with Zakk Wylde in place of his late brother. Speaking to Revolvermag.com, Vinnie made clear that there was no way for him to personally ever reconcile with Anselmo, stating to the publication:

“If you had an ex-wife, and it was a pretty bitter split, you might not ever want to talk to her again. Who cares if everybody in the family and your friends want you to say hello again? It’s your choice whether you want to do it or not. And I think a lot of people are selfish. They say, ‘Oh, he oughtta just kiss and make up with Phil and everything will be cool. And then they can go get Zakk Wylde and everything’s gonna be great.’ No, everything’s not gonna be great.”

In Rex Brown‘s just premiered ‘Icons‘ episode, Brown weighed in with his personal opinion on the matter, offering:

“[Vinnie] would not have anything to do with Phil—period. He thought that that was the reason his brother was dead. I disagree with that. I think this was a nut that had already been out there planning and premeditating whatever move he was gonna make.”

Towards the acrimonious end of their run, Pantera were often seen as having established separate factions, with Anselmo and Brown in one camp, and the Abbott brothers in another. As such, Brown also spoke in the new documentary of his own relationship with Vinnie Paul in the post-Pantera years, stating:

Vinnie and I, we would exchange pleasantries over… Let me just put it this way. I know he loved me, and I loved him. That’s all I need to know.”

The tensions and widely publicized grudges mentioned above are in part why Anselmo and Brown‘s decision to officially reunite as Pantera this year proved to be controversial to some. The pair could likely have not found better replacements; Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante were close friends of the departed Abbott brothers.

But given the circumstances surrounding Dimebag‘s murder and Vinnie Paul‘s long-held beef, the return under the Pantera name, let alone without the brothers themselves, rubbed more than a few the wrong way. That said, both the estates of Vinnie Paul and Dimebag have since given their blessing to the Pantera ‘reunion’.

At present, the reconfigured Texan chart-toppers have the following shows booked:

12/09 Bogotá, COL – Knotfest Colombia
12/11 Santiago, CHL – Knotfest Chile
12/12 Santiago, CHL – Movistar Arena
12/15 São Paulo, BRA – Vibra São Paulo (feat. Judas Priest)
12/18 São Paulo, BRA – Knotfest Brazil

05/26 Sofia, BUL – Armeets Arena
05/27 Bucharest, ROM – Metalhead Meeting Open Air Festival
05/30 Budapest, HUN – Barba Negra
05/31 Vienna, AUT – Gasometer
06/02-04 Nürburg, GER – Rock am Ring
06/02-04 Nuremberg, GER – Rock im Park
06/05 Lodz, POL – Atlas Arena
06/08-10 Hyvinkaa, FIN – Rock Fest
06/10 Solvesborg, SWE – Sweden Rock Festival
06/12 Prague, CZE – O2 Arena
06/13 Berlin, GER – Verti Music Hall
06/15 Copenhagen, DEN – Copenhell
06/21 Hamburg, GER – Edel Optics
06/22-24 Oslo, NOR – Tons Of Rock
07/02 Bologna, ITA – The Return Of The Gods Festival

08/04 East Rutherford, NJ – Metlife Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/11 Montreal, QC – Stade Olympique (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/18 Arlington, TX – AT&T Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/25 Los Angeles, CA – Sofi Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
09/01 Phoenix, AZ – State Farm Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
11/03 St. Louis, MO – The Dome at America’s Center (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
11/10 Detroit, MI – Ford Field (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)

2024:

08/02 Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/09 Chicago, IL – Soldier Field (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/16 Minneapolis, MN – U.S. Bank Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/23 Edmonton, AB – Commonwealth Stadium (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)
08/30 Seattle, WA – Lumen Field (feat. Metallica & Mammoth WVH)

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