Unless you’ve been on an island with Wilson the last few months, you know that Vinnie Paul passed away. Before his passing, Vinnie regrouping with Phil Anselmo and Rex Brown was always a hot topic. A lot of people were clamoring to see these four play shows with almost anyone, provided they did Dime justice. The name most often bandied about was Zakk Wylde, who would of have been in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.
But what if there was another way to reunite Pantera on stage? As recently as May, Mark Strigl interviewed Jeff Pezzuti of Eyellusion about the Dio and Frank Zappa holograms, you can check that interview out here. As much as I love Dio, and I know Zappa has a hardcore fan base, I’m not sure either has the same kind of demand presently from fans, like the Pantera camp had to do something with the three surviving members. A lot of this has to do with the way Dime was killed, and how the band is viewed by several generations of fans, and how he was seen as the premier metal guitarist by many at the time of his passing. Much like his fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan when he passed away suddenly in a helicopter crash, he was the hottest rock guitarist at the time, his legend grew immediately once people realized there would be little to nothing else released by that musical genius. And that isn’t to take away or belittle anything Dio or Zappa have done, as they have both been very innovative, and have released music that has captivated all of us, but both of them fought a disease for sometime, so even though we all hoped for the best, it was still a possibility they wouldn’t make it. Dime, Stevie, and now Vinnie all had the sickle strike without warning, something that shocked the majority of us fans.
So what if Eyellusion came up with a different take on what they do? How about instead of following a lead singer, what about Dime and Vinnie for a Pantera reunion? Think about it, much like the Dio hologram, you could have them play different tracks from their career, and depending on the album/tour, you’d see Dime with a different Dean or Washburn, and Vinnie with a different DW or Pearl drum set. Different stagewear, different goatee, etc. You could mix in some of the hijinks from their classic home videos, and there would be no issue with having Dime do a solo during each show. Touching on the home videos themselves, there are supposedly hours of tape, you could actually split the show up nicely between the two so you aren’t forced to have Anselmo sing two hours. The home videos could also be a mix of previously released material, with other material none of us have seen before.
But would there be a demand? I think there would be, as I think metal fans would initially be curious, and then dive in to a full on Pantera celebration. Also, look at all of the tribute bands that are out there, and how successful some of them are. As mentioned above, Pantera never overstayed their welcome, quite the opposite, if we analyze things, they were on top of their game for a little over ten years, that’s a fraction of the time Dio and Zappa were around. Although there are Pantera bootlegs, there are a lot of fans that never got to see the band while they were around, and millions that would love to see them again.
As alluded to by Jeff Pezzuti in the interview, a lot of the bands we love will be retiring, or disappearing within the next few years. People who are currently opposed to something like this, may change their tune as this may be the closest thing to the real deal. We all know metal fans like to go out and have a good time, if done the right way, given the demand before Vinnie’s death, this could be huge. It could be what opens the floodgates for these types of shows/celebrations.