Given how much he lived his life in the moment and with no regrets, some metalheads might be a little surprised to discover that Pantera guitarist and metal god “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott brought a video camera everywhere with him. Then again, it makes perfect sense given Dime’s life of constant touring, heavy drinking, and hilarious mayhem. If you have fun everywhere you go, but the chances of not remembering it are high, why not keep a video log the entire time?
Thankfully, we have Dimevision Vol. 2: Roll With It Or Get Rolled, the latest in a series of home video compilations created by Dimebag’s longtime SO Rita Haney to chronicle the first-person experience of what it was like to be Abbott. And the video delivers; full of firecrackers, puke, pranks, nudity, hard falls, heartfelt foreshadowing, and even hilariously old-school shtick, Dimevision Vol. 2 is everything you want from a movie about Dime and Pantera, meaning that no one describes them as seminal, or narrates their change from glam to thrash. Instead, it’s just metal memories laced with a lot of brown liquor and weed smoke.
About the shtick: we all think of Dimebag as this force of nature, leaving a trail of empty bottles and ruined amps in his wake. But something hilarious one finds in Dimevision Vol. 2 is how much a showman Dimebag and friends are. When Dime and Phil Anselmo wake each other up with a series of fireworks, Phil cracks a joke about “starting your day with a bang” as Dime perfectly times the cracking of a beer. When Dime turns his mailbox into a Frankenstein’s monster of hostility gauges, he does so squatting so that his nutsack is perfectly visible for all to see. The movie isn’t just an insight into Abbott’s everyday life, it’s like a variety show that Dime was filming his entire career, which is made especially touching considering he might have never thought people would see it.
That said, it’s the spontaneous stuff that’s the best, and the most touching. Included with this DVD are also a collection of demos recorded on the original four-track that Haney gave him. Like the video footage, these demos aren’t simply rough renditions of Pantera songs, they’re insight into the mind and heart of a guy who was always creating, whose guitar was as vital an organ to him as his battered liver. In these recordings, you don’t just hear Dime’s early ideas, you hear his private thoughts, the bits of larval songwriting that are as important as his finished compositions.
Now, all this said, should you experience Dimevision Vol. 2 with a fine craft lager in a seaside cabin in Wales? Nah, fuck that. Close the blinds, get the crew together, light up the bong shaped like a Satanic wizard, break out the liquor — not the good shit, the devil water you keep under the sink for nights when you’re feeling stupid — and put this motherfucker on. The touching moments will only hit you harder when you fully embrace the hilarious and entertaining good times Dime had to offer. And if you later in the evening find yourself puking into a Dora The Explorer lunchbox or getting a tattoo of Rex Brown with double-D tits, just make sure your buddy is filming it. Dimebag would’ve wanted it that way.