Today In Pantera’s Legacy: Ride For Dime President Steps Down Amidst Corruption Claims, Vinnie Paul To Return To Columbus For The First Time Since Dimebag’s Death
Man, 2016 has been a rough year for the legacy of Pantera and “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot. First, this year’s Dimebash was ruined by Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo having a racist outburst, and now the chairman of Ride For Dime, the non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for musical charities in Dime’s name, is stepping down amidst a whirlpool of controversy.
According to the Dallas Observer, Rob Eichelberger, chairman of Ride For Dime, has stepped down because according to longtime friends and co-workers, he used donation gifts to fund his drug habit. Also, he’s “the RAPIEST.” Yeah.
Eichelberger’s longtime (and now probably former) friend Shawn Merchant posted the following:
Yeah, that ain’t good.
For his own part, Eichelberger has announced his stepping down on his Facebook, passing the position on to Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney. Eichelberger made the following statement:
I would like to be the first to welcome the new Chairman of the Board for Ride for Dime, Rita Haney. Many of you may know her as DimebagzHag (his girlfriend). Here at RFD we are very excited for all the up coming changes for this year’s event. More announcements and information to follow. I, Rob Eichelberger, will be stepping down as President to make way for all the great things to come and to better support the memory of Dimebag Darrell Abbott.. I have enjoyed being a part of such a great man’s organization, and will continue to support in any way that I can. Thanks you so much for all of your support!
It’s a shame he didn’t include, “Also, I am the RAPIEST.”
Personally, I think this makes the most sense. While I’m not sure I would let Rita Haney do my taxes, she’s certainly one of the most recognizable public faces of Dimebag’s legacy. Why wouldn’t Ride For Dime be run by her, rather than, say, a rapey tweaker?
Meanwhile, not every bit of news about Dimebag’s legacy is a massive fucking tragedy. Vinnie Paul recently talked about how he and Hellyeah are returning to Columbus OH, for the first time since Dimebag was killed there in 2004. The band is going to play the Rock on the Range festival.
When asked about the return, Vinnie said the following:
“It’s taken me a long time to really get in the right headspace to where I feel like it was time to do it. And it wasn’t anything specific; we’ve been offered to do it just about every year since HELLYEAH’s been together. And this year, it just kind of hit me. I said, ‘You know what? I think it’s time for the people there to hear what we do and to go back and just do my thing and show a little love to my brother.’ I know the crowd’s gonna be chanting ‘Dimebag!’ It’s gonna be huge, so it’s gonna be awesome.
“I just know that every year, [the Rock On The Range organizers] were, like, ‘Hey, we know how Vinnie feels about the situation. But just let him know the offer’s there, that we would love to have him come play.’ And so this year when it came around, I just felt like it was the right time to do it.”
Obviously, we are not huge Hellyeah fans here at MetalSucks, but hey, look, good for Vinnie Paul. If my brother were killed, I’d probably never return to the town where it happened again, ever. Good on him for facing his demons and returning to form. Will the Columbus fans be appreciative? One assumes, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Anyway, we hope the next time we write about Pantera it will not be a heartbreaking post about corruption and redemption. I’m thinking a piece of cool merch, or an unreleased track. Fingers crossed.