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Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott [Kindle Edition]

Zac Crain
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Black Tooth Grin is the first biography of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the Texas-bred guitarist of the heavy metal band Pantera, who was murdered onstage in 2004 by a deranged fan—24 years to the day after John Lennon met a similar fate.

Darrell Abbott began as a Kiss-inspired teenage prodigy who won dozens of local talent contests. With his brother, drummer Vinnie Abbott, he formed Pantera, becoming one of the most popular bands of the ’90s and selling millions of albums to an intensely devoted fan base. While the band’s music was aggressive, “Dime” was outgoing, gregarious, and adored by everyone who knew him.

From Pantera’s heyday to their implosion following singer Phil Anselmo’s heroin addiction to Darrell’s tragic end, Black Tooth Grin is a moving portrait of a great artist.

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The Bookseller, 3/2/09 "This long-awaited account of a hard rocking life cut short has real cult sleeper potential." Booklist, 6/1/09 "Crain describes the career of an accomplished and influential guitarist...Crain's iteration of the man and his a fitting memorial." Texas Monthly, June 2009 "[Crain] captures the essence of the band's virtuoso guitarist, who was revered by musicians and fans alike for his outrageous skills and everyman persona." Dallas Morning News Texas Pages blog, 5/30/09 "Chronicle[s] Abbot's life and career with careful detail and just the right amount of appreciation.", 5/25/09 "A fast and thoroughly entertaining read-a definite page turner...For fans of Dimebag Darrell, Pantera, and heavy metal in general it's a must. But even if you never banged your head in the moshpit to 'I'm Broken,' Dimebag's story, like a good, stiff drink, is one you wont want to put down." AlgoRhythms "[An] excellent biography...Crain pulls off a difficult task. While Black Tooth Grin is essential reading for any fan of 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott or his band, it's not a 'meatheads only' book. It will reach anyone who's ever heard a killer riff and thought, 'God, I want to play like that." Revolver Magazine, August 2009 "This poetic biography uses vivid prose to illustrate late Pantera shredder Dimebag Darrell's life...A heartwarming homage to the guitarist's memory." "Tells about the life [Dimebag] led and what might have been.", 6/14/09 "Tells Dimebag's story, from his birth in Arlington, Texas to his death on stage in Columbus, Ohio, from Pantera's glittery late-80s beginnings to their chart-destroying reign as one of Metal's most unrelenting acts...Sheds new light on that harrowing night in Columbus in 2004...A damn good story." Quick, 7/2/09 "A thoroughly researched biography and a fun read." Crawdaddy! "Crain explores with vivid detail the 1981 birth, rise to fame, and ultimate demise of Pantera, as well as the rebirth of the Abbott brothers and rock's bloodiest onstage tragedy...Black Tooth Grin is the long-awaited story of Dimebag Darrell, and a tour de force of American music journalism." Quick, 7/2/09 "Crain successfully paints a raw but often reverential picture of Dimebag.", 7/2/09 "Clearly aimed at the remaining fans of heavy metal in general and of Abbott in particular." Dallas News, 7/5/09 "Black Tooth Grin is longtime area writer Zac Crain's attempt at telling Abbott's story, and for the most part he succeeds...One thing Crain absolutely nails...-and what is really the heart of Abbott's story-is his open, unpretentious nature." Q, July 2009 "A hugely sympathetic portrait, with Abbott's basic humanity shining through even as his band's US success brought them into contact with the seedier side of the music industry." Trademark of Quality, 6/24/09 "Does a fine job of presenting the genesis of Abbott's lifelong infatuation with the guitar...Crain describes the many bumps in the road and the obstacles overcome by Pantera in becoming, perhaps, the best-known metal outfit during the alt-rock years...Crain is an engaging writer, and Black Tooth Grin is a quick, entertaining read that captures the essence of Dimebag Darrell Abbot." Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles "Not only chronicles, but also celebrates the remarkable achievements and unique experiences that filled Dime's life...The one-of-a-kind story is lovingly told and accurately recounted...Black Tooth Grin provides a true sense of who Dime was and what it was like to be around him...Unlike the majority of unauthorized biographies that essentially amount to nothing more than a quick cash-grab, this book has been well researched...It's definitely worth reading." Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7/16/09 "Admirable for its ambition...The depth of sourcing...allows for different insight than the family might provide." January, 7/22/09 "Crain seems to hit all the right notes, skillfully blending fact with educated fancy, filling in the blanks and also imagining the what-might have beens and the nearly-weres. Metal fans will, of course, find Black Tooth Grin to be a must-read but even those who had only barely heard of Abbott will find Crain's book compelling. It's a portrait of the music industry exactly as you always suspected it was... and yet entirely different. Fascinating." Blurt, Fall 2009 "A vivid portrait of Dimebag, written in a style that suits his rep as a big-hearted hell-raiser...The upshot is we get to know and like Dimebag all over again, intimately as a close friend." Salt Lake Under Ground, August 2009 "It may be a cliche, but the introduction alone will leave any reader, regardless of musical orientation, breathless. The rest of the biography only improves from there...This book is required reading for metal heads and highly recommended for anybody interested in music." MNS Music's Headbang blog, 8/10/09 "A terrific first book...A complete biography, detailing not only Abbott's childhood as one of two sons of a Texas recording engineer, and Pantera's early years, but every step of the group's rise to prominence in the early 1990s and ultimate, bitter dissolution...A quick, easy read...A very welcome addition to any metalhead's library. By all means check it out." GuitarNoize,com, 11/23/09 "An unauthorized biography of the Arlington, Texas shredder...This is a fascinating insight into the life and death of Darrell Abbott and one that I highly recommend." DC Metal Music, 12/8/09 "The book gives a different angle on Abbott and the band that brought him to fame...What is most interesting about this book are the moments when the focus is put on those who helped the band early on...The tone is conversational and filled with humorous anecdotes and metaphors making it enjoyable...Black Tooth Grin does provide an excellent way to remember a star in the metal world that left an eternal audience to soon." Premier Guitar, 12/8/09 "Provides a well-rounded, introspective look into Abbott's world as music fan, guitarist, party ambassador and mama's boy."

About the Author

Texas-based author Zac Crain was music editor for the Dallas Observer, and currently is an editor at American Way and a regular contributor to Spin.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1681 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (2 Jun. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010SENB8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #579,074 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it 29 July 2010
I can summarise this book in a few sentences: Dime played Guitar great. Dime was a good guy who cared about people. Dime liked to drink Whiskey and Coke.

That is about as much insight as the Author Zac Crain provides. There are no interviews with his family or Band members, just some anecdotal things from former road crew and obscure people like Ross Halfin (photographer) who only met him once. I have learned more about Dime in reading a three page interview in 'Guitar World'.

I am very disappointed in the book and feel ripped off by Zac Crain - poorly researched and poorly written book on one of my Hero's. I will now have to buy another biography in the hope someone else respects Dime enough to do a proper Job.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Badly researched 28 Sept. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The only sources Zac Crain seemed to have for writing the book were the first Pantera singer Terry Glaze who it sounds like hadn't seen him in years, someone from Dimebag's guitar company and a few others who only knew him briefly. His brother Vinnie clearly had nothing to do with the book nor did his girlfriend or anyone else really close to him. The book is short and goes into little detail. One minute he's playing at home, the next Pantera are releasing an album. He doesn't have the little details, clearly only what he's taken from interviews from music magazines. He even describes lots of stuff from the Pantera home videos as stories.

The book is well written and enjoyable to read. But I really didn't learn much about the guy I didn't already know from seeing interviews with the band over the years. It would be great to see a Dimebag book that really had the stories from those close to him. This isn't it and is obviously just a cash in.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Disappointing To Be Honest 19 Sept. 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Apart from finding out that Dimebag was a fun guy who drank a lot I didn't learn much! The author clearly had limited information about Darrell as the book seemed very padded out in places. There wasn't enough honesty either, where were the sex and drug stories? I'm sure there was more going on than just partying with a black tooth! It probably would have been better if this was a Pantera biography instead, may have been more to tell. Dimebag Darrell was a great guitarist but this doesn't do him justice. For a better metal biography check out "Sabbath" Bloody "Sabbath" by Joel McIver.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ...the Rainman of metal... 5 Jun. 2009
Don't get me wrong, I was a big Pantera fan. They basically saved metal in the nineties when the evil grunge virus tried to wipe good music off the face of the earth. When Metallica were turning into glam pussies, Pantera manned the ramparts, battling to save all that was good about the rawk. However, despite that, I cannot claim to have liked any of the band. Naturally, this is based purely on reading interviews and watching their lamentable shenanigans on video. Dimebag Darrell Abbott, in particular, seemed to have been an emotionally arrested thirteen year for his entire life. If anything, he was a guitar autistic, the Rainman of metal. However, I've been wrong once before, so I was happy to sit down and read this, the first biography of Dimebag Darrell, to find out if I was wrong.

I wasn't. The book itself is good enough, although filled with enough "dudes" to fill out a 10 DVD box set of Bill & Ted, as biographer Zac Crain takes us through the short life of the guitarist. The early years are by far the most interesting as I wasn't up to speed on his childhood and his fathers (an accomplished local country musician) input to the early years of the band. But once we hit the glory years it becomes a repetitive tale of booze, bosoms and frat party pranks. There isn't a great deal of depth to the issue of Phil Anselmos estrangement from the band, and you get the impression that Dimebag really didn't care, just as long as there was beer and titties somewhere on the horizon. However, the ending of the Dimebag story remains just as pointless as ever, when Nathan Gale, a deranged ex-marine, leapt on stage and killed him and two audience members before the police arrived and took him out with a shotgun blast to the head.
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