Former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown joined ex-PANTERA and current DOWN frontman Philip Anselmo on stage at the Download festival earlier today (Sunday, June 15) at Donington Park in Leicestershire, United Kingdom to perform the PANTERA classic “A New Level”. You can watch fan-filmed video footage of the performance below.
Late PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott‘s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney in 2011 called on ex-PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and Philip Anselmo to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag, who was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Vinnie, who is Dimebag‘s brother, and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag‘s death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag‘s killer.
Haney told the producers of “Behind The Music Remastered: Pantera” that she forgave the singer after they found themselves unexpectedly face to face at a concert in California.
In Brown‘s memoir, “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera”, Haney said: “My line has softened over the years since Darrell‘s death, probably because I feel an element of forgiveness and a desire for everybody to get along. No matter what ever happened, nobody did this to Darrell. I mean, they — Rex and Philip — didn’t. The person who did it did it, and no matter what reason the killer — if he was still alive today — could give to justify that, it wouldn’t change anything. But when you go through something like this, you want to lay blame somewhere. Obviously I had resentment to Rex and Philip because I had to watch Darrell trying to save his band. I wanted to fix it for him. As far as Philip is concerned, we are at least communicating, albeit on a fairly surface level. We haven’t talked about any deep things like resentments because I’ve told him that I still harbor some resentment for how he handled band issues and how that impacted Darrell and I’ve made that very clear to him. And it’s hard for me to trust him. But we’ll see. It’s a start and in time we’ll probably sit down face to face.”
She continued: “Despite all the issues I’ll say this: going out selling the merchandise for Darrell every summer has given me a whole different perspective. When you are with all the people that PANTERA‘s music touched and you hear the stories they have about how a certain song got them through, even if they never got to see them, it makes you realize that you’re being selfish and that your issues are petty and false. I’m not the big picture. They are. I’m so grateful for all the things I learned from Darrell and I want to try to be that kind of person you know. Better.”
She added: “I wish Vince was more like his brother when it comes to welcoming new people into his world, instead of feeling strapped up or that it’s a problem or an inconvenience. Of course it can be overwhelming, I used to watch Darrell every day and marveled at how amazing he was at handling it, but I wish there was more of that in Vinnie. I know he has never really dealt with the death of his brother head on, and instead he’s chosen to shut it away and hope that he’ll never have to discuss it. If he was open to sharing some of his stories with people, he might just find peace, and if he let people in, he might also just see the big picture I’m talking about.”
Anselmo performed at this year’s Download with his backing band, THE ILLEGALS — guitarist Marzi Montazeri (ex-SUPERJOINT RITUAL), drummer José Manuel Gonzales (WARBEAST) and bassist Steve Taylor.
Anselmo‘s career-first solo album, “Walk Through Exits Only”, sold around 8,700 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 35 on The Billboard 200 chart.