Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott

Zac Crain, Author . Da Capo $15.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-306-81524-9

Darrell Abbott, known to fans of rock band Pantera as “Dimebag Darrell,” was shot to death by a deranged fan while playing a show in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004. This horrific event, recounted in nightmarish detail and replete with gratuitous comparisons to September 11, bookends Crain's reverential but superficial chronicle of the highly regarded heavy-metal guitarist's career. As narrated by Crain, Dallas Observer music editor, Darrell is a hard-drinking mama's boy who, growing up in Arlington, Tex., refined his guitar chops by walling himself up in his room for hours instead of going to high school. With his brother, Vince, and other neighborhood musicians, Darrell formed the band Pantera. Under the influence of Metallica and with the addition of a rough-edged singer named Phil Anselmo, the band evolved into a major force on the metal scene with its original blend of technical skill and Southern attitude. Pantera achieved massive success in the '90s with the release of a few albums, including the “heaviest album to hit No. 1 on the charts,” Far Beyond Driven , and toured the world. Crain dutifully recounts the addictions and intra-band squabbling that inevitably shadow rock success, but the cheerful strangeness and decency of “Dimebag,” perhaps best exemplified by his collaboration with the eccentric country musician David Allen Coe, manages to shine through, even in the darker corners of the narrative. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/11/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-7867-4802-0
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