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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 March 2013
Since December 8th 2004, when I actually broke down in tears at my work because I'd learned that Dimebag Darrell had been murdered on-stage, I've been waiting for someone from the band to say something other than 'he said, she said.. ' Bassist Rex has finally written an unputdownable volume which is essential for anyone even remotely interested in PanterA's music and legend. As for me, I'd have preordered this in 2004 despite having to wait a further 9 years to get to read it.

Rex covers everything from his early days at home, taking up the bass, hanging around with Vinnie and his scrawny little brother Darrell, finding Phil and helping make PanterA the unstoppable, heavy beast it once was. There's stuff in here I've always wanted to know about how PanterA came to be, how the band functioned, and why, laterally, the monster somehow was allowed to implode and how the individuals involved dealt with it.

One criticism I would make is that Rex tends to speak pretty negatively about Vinnie Paul a lot. He certainly doesn't sugar coat a single word of the book. Some of his accounts of Phil Anselmo's doped-up behaviour will shock you for sure, as will his own accounts of rehab, alcohol dependency, anxiety medication, denial and despair.

I got goosebumps when he talked about Darrell Abbott as a teenage kid, barely able to play even barre chords, then someone giving him Ozzy's Blizzard of Ozz record. He apparently locked himself in his room for an entire summer, playing, learning, and when he finally emerged he was - in Rex's words - a virtuoso. If you love Dime and miss him, this book is definitely for you. Expect to shed a couple tears before you get to the end.

Lots of funny moments too, as you'd probably expect from anything to do with PanterA. The chapter on when Rex was attempting to teach Vinnie Paul to ski will stay with you for life.

I truly, truly miss PanterA. Imagine if a reunion had been possible and had, in fact, taken place?! We can only dream about how the comeback album would have sounded.

Highly recommend this book to anyone, especially die-hard PanterA heads like myself.
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on 16 August 2013
Well, one of the things that you will clearly notice on this book is that Rex considers himself as god's gift to heavy metal music and that he could easely bury Mozart or Beethoven in what concerns music wise.
He certainly does not like Vinnie Paul. As a matter of fact, although he, sooner or later, calls his band mates "brothers", I don't think he liked any of them. Actually, I don't think he likes anyone, apart from, maybe his parents, sister, wife and children.
There are some interesting details, although the book is not too detailed. Don't expect many touring stories or details about recording the records.
The book is written in a very unprofessional way. At many times it goes back and forth, gets confusing and the writing is just too basic(he uses and abuses the expression "the whole bit" for example...). Also, many comments from other people do not bring any richness to text whatsoever (his sister's comments for example..).
As someone wrote the highlight is the part when he describes Vinnie skiing. Priceless. He also talks a lot about Metallica.
It's a basically nice book to read if you're a Pantera/Rex Brown hard-core fan. I like Pantera's music but I got bored a few times when reading it...
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on 9 April 2013
..he speaks the loudest.Rex certainly does not mince his words here and gives us this amazing insight on what this beast that Pantera was..A band that affected many..certainly me throughout my teens.
This is not a book about excesses and who ran the biggest tabs etc..it is more about Rex's relationship,how the band worked and insight on what went behind the scenes..
I finished it in two sittings and loved it thoroughly.
Glad to see him doing his thing from Power Metal to his new band Kill Hill Devil..
Wish him the best..I would have loved for him to stay with DOWN but like he says..he and Phil needed to get away from the shadow of pantera and find their own musical journey which rounds this book up quite well..
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on 23 April 2013
Rex Brown seems like a real down to earth and opinionated guy so it was interesting to find out his views on certain events. Some of the things he says about Vinnie Paul are hilarious...he clearly isn't a fan of the bloke so takes every opportunity possible to slag him off, almost to the point where Vinnie Paul is portrayed as a fat and clumsy cartoon character! It's only 250 pages long though so is slightly brief in places, especially on the drugs and groupies front (his alcohol abuse is the only sin he went into much depth about). Plus on every other page there are paragraphs written by Dimebag's girlfriend, Terry Date etc which are quite annoying as it ruined the autobiographical flow a bit.
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on 12 November 2014
Dear God. What a big headed dullard Rex turns out to be. I always thought of him as the (comparatively) quiet one in Pantera - still waters run deep & all that. But no, he's a big headed egomaniac. Some interesting insights into VP that I found surprising but little else added to story of this incredible band.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Phil's book is so much better than this........
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on 21 July 2013
When I first heard that this book was in the pipeline, I couldn't wait to read it. Pantera were, for me "That Band". I was lucky enough to see them live on a few occasions, I bought their albums on the days they came out, and I always hoped that one day they would sort out their differences and remind us all how it is really done. However since the death of guitarist Dimebag Darrell in 2004, that dream has been over! Of course we now have Hell Yeah, Kill Devil Hill and the awesome Down, but we'll never again get the Metal Magic that was the classic Pantera lineup. Anyway back to business, chances are if you're looking to buy this book, you're already a Pantera fan, and know some of the story. What this book does, is fill in the blanks and gives an insider perspective of the phenomena as it happened and as it fell apart. Rex was always the quiet one, rarely gave interviews and never went for the headlines. That's not to say that he was an angel, he admits that himself in the book. Starting off with his childhood, moving on to his formative years and of course Pantera from beginning to end, as well as his time with Down, including the drink, the drugs, the good times, bad times and butt ugly truths!. He pulls no punches, is down to the bone honest and articulate. I would highly recommend this book to any Pantera fan, and to anybody who is just getting into heavy music. Even the hardiest of fans will learn something.
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on 29 May 2013
Having been in a privileged position of knowing all of Pantera since the early '90's and touring with them on the US Ozzfest in 2000 I thought I knew EVERYTHING there was to know about the band!
How wrong I was!
This book is an extraordinary insight into the band that every Pantera fan should read.
Brutally honest, insightful and a real page turner at its best!
Highly recommended.
Thank you Rex for at last putting to paper what we all wanted to know!!!
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on 23 September 2013
I just finished this and couldn't avoid writing my first Amazon review as I've never been so disappointed, bored and in the end infuriated by a book.

I am a huge Pantera fan and IMO this book brings absolutely nothing to what is already know about the band.

The only things I learned from this book I can sum up in a few points, in Rex words:

- "I am a musical genius"
- "I have amazing business smart"
- "I'm so good at golf, barbecue, home deco..."
- "Down didn't fire me because they knew it would impact the tour sales" (pretty funny considering Down's lineup)
- "I'm looking for a gig. On a totally unrelated note, James Hetfield I love you, we're brothers <3".
- "booze, booze, booze, Vinnie Paul sucks, booze booze"

If you add to this farce that the book is just purely badly written, I'd advise to stay as far as you can from this stack of leaves for which I could only find a use in the most private place of my house.
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on 12 February 2015
Really enjoyed the book like I said a must read for any pantera fan past or present. Downside is red really does have a very high opinion of himself which does grate a little. The constant paragraphs from others is a bit annoying too. Good outweighs the bad though
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on 5 October 2014
I'm a fan of Pantera's music and although I've read a few magazine articles about the band this is the first full insight into the band members and music I have read. Well worth a read if you're a Pantera or metal fan.
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