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.