The former Pantera vocalist Glaze recently recalled the iconic band’s early days (including Dime’s famous jamming session with Metallica. He shared thoughts on the ongoing Pantera reunion featuring Zakk Wylde on guitars & Anthrax’s Charlie Benante on drums.
Glaze opens up on the matter
Before Pantera went through a radical (and profoundly successful) change of style embodied in 1990’s “Cowboys from Hell”, the legendary Abbott brothers-led outfit had spent nearly a decade honing their craft as a glam/speed metal band.
The band was formed in 1981 under the name of Gemini, the band consisted of Donny Hart on vocals, Tommy Bradford on bass, “Diamond” Darrell Abbot on guitar & his older brother Vinnie Paul Abbott on drums.
The band would assume its first steady lineup in 1982, with Date switching over to lead vocals and Rex Brown replacing Bradford on bass. As such, the band released three underrated studio albums – 1983’s “Metal Magic”, 1984’s “Projects in the Jungle”, and 1985’s “I Am The Night”, before parting ways with Date and eventually recruiting Phil Anselmo in 1986.
He looked back on the band’s origins in a wide-ranging new interview with Eonmusic, Glaze said how Dime only joined because Vinnie Paul wasn’t having it otherwise:
“I had a little band when I was a junior in high school back in Bowie, Maryland with my friend Tommy Bradford, and we wanted to play with the best drummer we could find, and the best drummer in our school was Vince Abbott. So we got together and jammed. We did instrumental versions of, I think we did some Rush songs off of ‘2112’.
“We jammed in the garage and we liked it, and so we tried to get him to play with us. We had a singer Donnie Hart, and the agreement was that we would take his little brother Darrell who was in middle school. We weren’t really interested in a young kid in middle school, but we reluctantly agreed, thank goodness. We were lucky enough to do that.”
With Glaze playing rhythm guitar in those early days, Dimebag (then still “Diamond”) Darrell was his closest associate. “It was fun”, Glaze reminisced of playing dual guitar harmonies inspired by Def Leppard with the future guitar hero. It was around the same time that Dime’s prodigious talent became apparent, as he recalls:
“When we first started out, he would take a solo, I’d take a solo, and sometime early on, he kind of locked himself in his room, and then kind of came out fully formed, like a butterfly. All the sudden, he could play Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’.
“Now there’s all kinds of little kids all over the planet, and they can play ‘Eruption’ with YouTube, and all of these things, but back then all we had was a cassette player, and it was it was not obvious to us.”
Asked to comment on the ongoing reunion tour, Glaze said:
“I just feel kind of the same way I feel about Van Halen; I love Van Halen. I love Eddie. I love Darrell. You know, that’s how I feel about it. It would be difficult for me to think that that was Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen, and Alex is still alive. Imagine if Eddie and Alex are gone, and then it was Van Halen; it’s just hard for us old people.
“But you know, man, more power to everybody to get to celebrate the music, and get together and have fellowship, I especially think about all the young people who never got to see them; now they get to finally go out and celebrate those songs. That means so much to them, and that music means so much to a lot of people around the whole planet. So more power to them to celebrate music. Anything that gets people out, live together for rock and roll, that’s a good thing.”
He said Metallica came to jam with Dimebag in the past.
“James [Hetfield] and Lars [Ulrich] came to Arlington to hang out a couple of times. They would come over and hang out with Darrell and they would jam and everything. But nothing was ever going to happen with them and Darrell, because Darrell and Vince are a package. Same thing with Megadeth there; it wasn’t going to happen. So, you know, thank goodness.”