Top positive review
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Agony is the price that you pay in the end
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.