Zakk Wylde Thinks Dimebag and Vinnie Paul “Would Definitely Be Loving” Fan Reaction to Pantera Shows


Say what you will about today’s Pantera, but it goes without saying that it’s been a successful experiment at the very least. It’s proof that as long as enough people have nostalgia for a band, they’ll excuse it if half of the band is still alive and kicking.

The reunion/tribute/celebratory tour they’ve been on over the last couple of months has seen some massive crowds all singing along to songs and throwing down in the pit. Zakk Wylde, who’s been filling in for “Dimebag” Darrell, said during an interview with Guitar World that the reaction’s been so positive lately that the late guitarist and his brother, Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, would have loved every second of it.

“Pantera’s music is so powerful and special; it’s perfectly designed for live shows and festivals — it really is. The crowd reactions have been just insane. Dime and Vinnie [Paul Abbott, late Pantera drummer] would definitely be loving it — seeing what they were a part of and what they created.

“As you and I know, every day with Dime and Vinnie was Friday or Saturday night. They enjoyed life to the fullest. So, I always tell everybody this: if you want to celebrate Dime and Vinnie, you should be thankful every single day and kick as much ass as you possibly can!

“I enjoyed many Dimebag debacles that got me in the doghouse with the wife! [Laughs] And then I’d always have to send him in to talk with her to smooth things out — ’cause I knew she wasn’t going to yell at Dime ’cause he was such a charming sweetheart of a guy!

“At the end of the day, I’m far beyond honored that I got asked to help to celebrate the incredible greatness of Saint Dime and Saint Vinnie. I guess you could say I’m on a mission from God, just like Jake and Elwood! [Laughs]

“Joking aside, we’re just four friends celebrating our buddies’ memory and the amazing thing they created that brings so many people joy and happiness — just like their heroes did. That’s why we still listen to Randy [Rhoads], Eddie [Van Halen], Sabbath, [Led] Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Pantera — because it brings you to your happy place. It’s a beautiful thing and to me, every show we’ve done in honor of Dime and Vinnie has been beyond special. Far beyond…”

Speaking on his time learning and performing Dime’s parts, Wylde admitted that even though he’s a highly touted guitarist in his own right, the late Pantera guitarist was especially unique.

“I always knew Dime [late Pantera guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott] was great, but now [that] I’ve really studied a bunch of his songs and solos, he’s even greater-er-er than I even realized. He definitely sits at the table with his heroes and breathes the same rarified air as Tony Iommi because, just like Black Sabbath, Pantera created a genre of music; they were the precision machine that’s still considered its benchmark to this day.

“It’s not just about Dime’s chops and how great his technique was; it’s about what he created. That’s his legacy — and it’s way, way bigger than just being a great lead player.”

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