VINNIE PAUL: “ZAKK WOULD BE THE GUY” IF THERE WAS A PANTERA REUNION
It seems like almost immediately after Dime died, metal nerds all over the planet began to murmur about the idea of a Pantera reunion, with Dime’s very good pal Zakk Wylde stepping in for the late guitar player. So you could practically hear a million fanboys jizz themselves when Vinnie Paul recently told Texas radio station 97.1 the Eagle, “If [a Pantera reunion] ever were to happen, Zakk would be the guy.”
Which is a terrible idea — Dime was Dime was such a massive part of Pantera that the idea of the band soldiering on without him seems ludicrous, and maybe a tad crass, given that he’s deceased. I don’t think anyone would object to a one-off performance of just a few songs if the band were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame or something silly like that, but a whole tour… or, Dime help us!, an album? That would just be weird, wouldn’t it?
Luckily, Paul agrees, asserting that “out of respect for my brother, we should just leave the fourteen amazing years Pantera had be. We’re all happy doing our own thing. We have to continue living and do other things.”
As an example for why I don’t think any kind of Pantera reunion would work, let’s exam another highly-influential band who can never really unite due to the premature passing of a key member: Death. There are two great things about the just-announced Death sort-of reunion: 1) the musicians involved are going out of their way to specify that it’s not a reunion, and 2) it’s all being done in the name of charity, so it doesn’t feel at all like anyone is cashing in on a man’s death. And since Schuldiner passed away from cancer, the fact that the charity being promoted is the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund (a group that helps sick and disabled musicians who don’t have medical coverage) feels both natural and sincere. Really, this is the only way you could have pulled off anything resembling a Death reunion.
But what would be the equivalent in the case of Pantera? Even if they did a reunion for charity, would charity would be the organic response to the way Dime was killed? I don’t exactly foresee these guys doing a tour to raise awareness for The Brady Campaign, do you?
Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section below. Would you be excited to see Phil Anselmo, Vinnie Paul, Rex Brown, and Zakk Wylde come together under the Pantera banner? Or are you as relieved as I am that Paul doesn’t seem to be interested in pursuing this idea?