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TV Review: VH1′s Behind the Music – Pantera

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On May 11, 2006, VH1 aired a new Behind the Music episode on Pantera.

I don’t think an episode of Behind the Music has ever had any sort of effect on me. It’s just a television show documenting the ups and downs of various artists. I suppose I see it as a showcase of washed up rock stars still trying to hold on to that fame they once had. I also see it as a crash course on a band – if you knew nothing about a particular band or artist before watching an episode, after it’s over you will.

With the new episode featuring Pantera, it was a different story altogether.

It would seem chronicling Pantera’s rise and fall would be a difficult task, and presenting it well would be a whole other task. However, this episode is by far the best and most well put together I have seen in a long time. Opening with footage of the night guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered on stage (December 8, 2004), playing with his band Damageplan with his brother Vinnie Paul on drums, the episode immediately holds your attention. Fan or not, you can’t help but watch how this band rose to be one of the best metal bands in history and ended under frustrating circumstances.

I was actually amazed by former singer Phil Anselmo, who was also interviewed and looked high throughout some of the interview – even though he claims he is sober. Anselmo comes across as egotistical and arrogant. Keeping in mind that this is, in fact, a Behind the Music episode and at least every interview starts with “I felt that…” or “I was…” or “I did…”, Anselmo has the amazing power to twist something about someone else into something about himself. I didn’t find this shocking since anyone who was a fan of Pantera or Anselmo (and there aren’t many) are accustomed to the way he comes across in interviews.

By the end of the episode, I was actually crying. I don’t remember the last time anything on television made me cry, let alone a Behind the Music episode. Watching the footage from the night Dimebag was murdered made it difficult to digest and it left me missing him more than ever.

Behind the Music: Pantera is put together well with interviews from all members of Pantera, family, and friends. It’s an episode that will be with you long after it is over.

If you missed it, check out the VH1 site to see when it’s on again. It has also been uploaded on YouTube for streaming in five parts.

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  • Guppusmaximus

    Granted I wasn’t a fan of Damageplan and only 2 Pantera albums were decent(my opinion), It’s a G*dd*mn shame that some chemically-imbalanced,F*cking loser had to kill Dimebag Darrell. Then he doesn’t even have the balls to stand for his mistake… I will have to check out the BTM episode on YouTube.

  • steve wade

    phil is the man.where i grew up he was a god.his ranting and raving on stage was sometimes exessive but he was a voice for a generation.his angry but inspiring lyrics,his unique style of singing and grunting has its fingerprints all over heavy music today.i believe that phil anselmo as a front man, was the most infuentual of my generation.watch 1 episode of headbangers ball after listening to “far beyond driven”and you can hear anselmo as if you were listening to a series of tribute bands.he had a certain power over his listeners that is rare like a memorable politician.there will never be another pantera.not superjoint ritual or damage plan can ever recapture the time and place pantera occupied as pioneeres.dimebag vinne and rex created ground breaking music but together with phil changed metal forever.phil anselmo unfortunatly is the jim morrison of our generation steve wade

  • Guppusmaximus

    I just finished watching this… It was an excellent piece but I have a huge issue with VH1 claiming that they pioneered Extreme music!! PANTERA was a great band…BUT… Chuck Shuldiner brought Extreme music to the US in 1985 with his band DEATH. Chuck Shuldiner passed away from cancer in 2001 and I wish VH1 would get off their lazy,ignorant asses and do a show for the man who truly pioneered this genre!!
    Anyways… Dimebag will always be remembered and I wasn’t trying to steal his light!!

    R.I.P. Dimebag & Chuck!!

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joan Hunt

    Congrats! This article has been placed on Advance.net

  • steve wade

    and dime was the randy rhodes of my generation………….r.i.p. dime

  • j kirk

    I agree with your comments about that loser has been Anselmo. He was part of something special and the fame went to his head. I did enjoy watching that moron stumbling drunk though. He was always one of those “I got my sh#t wired tight” kind of guys and look at him now. A big, fat burned out loser.

  • Mike Vaughan

    Phil is in my opinion one of the top three best singers in metal.

  • Mike Vaughan

    Pantera played in Russia in Moscow. Sick

  • raw

    I worked in radio in Dallas in the early 90′s. I had the pleasure of hanging out and partying with Dime on many occasions. The night “The Basement” closed for good Dime and I sat at the bar doing tequila shots all night. I still can’t watch this BTM episode all the way through without breaking down and balling like a school girl. At the 2006 Rock hall of fame induction Geezer Butler dedicated his award to Dime, made me tear up.

    Dimebag Darrell Abbott 1966-2004 Keep Rippin’!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/1republican4ever David

    “THE BASEMENT” WOW GOOD TIMES! Dime was a regular guy. I also had the pleasure of knowing him and was one of the 5000 allowed into the memorial where Eddie Van Halen and Zack Wild sent dime off right with a liquor shot. Then big ass Zack picked up little Eddie and they drunkenly wrestled on stage!Jerry Cantrell played acoustic it was unforgetable. To Dime’s old lady RITA I say stay strong you know he loved you and thanx for takin me camping on the guadalupe with you and dave(whats up DAVE PEACOCK hows Sweet Revenge still kikin?) I HAD A GREAT TIME!r.i.p. Darrell– WE LOVE YA DIME!!

  • nathan

    his passing was a damn shame the best there was the best there is and the best there ever will be. R.I.P dimebag we love you brother