Former PANTERA frontman Philip Anselmo has slammed the VH1 "Behind the Music" special on the band, calling it a "biased" piece which portrayed him as a "villain."
The "Behind the Music" episode on PANTERA had its premiere in May 2006. The program included interviews with the surviving members of PANTERA — Anselmo, Vinnie Paul Abbott (drums), and Rex Brown (bass) — along with appearances by Guy Sykes (tour manager), Walter O'Brien (manager), Terry Date (producer), about five members of PANTERA's/DAMAGEPLAN's crew, and Rita Haney ("Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's girlfriend).
When asked by Revolver TV during an October 2010 interview (see video below) what he thought of the show, Anselmo replied, "I thought it was biased. That had nothing to do with PANTERA; it had everything to do with the darkest chapter [in the band's history]."
He continued, "PANTERA was a bristling, fantastic, big fucking thing, man. We were on top of the world whilst our entire reign of heavy metal; no one besting us. Those are some fantastic memories in there. The whole story isn't about Darrell's death [PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott was killed by a deranged fan in December 2004. — Ed.]; that's what I wanna say, man. There's a whole lot of good they seemed to leave out. And they portrayed me as this villain.
He added, "I got a phone call, I was laying in bed... That's how I found out [about Dimebag's death], man.
"Not a fucking day goes by when I don't think about PANTERA or Dimebag — probably several hundred times.
"I've got peace in my heart when it comes to PANTERA, 'cause I think of the positive things. There was a lot of positive things. The connection with the audience. A very unique thing, PANTERA fans. Very, very, very staunch, stubborn and loyal as dogs, for god's sake, and us to them, too. 'Cause we were just music fans; we were fans of music. I'm still a music-trading fool."
You can watch Anselmo's comments about the "Behind the Music" special on PANTERA in the YouTube clip below.
In the November 2007 issue of Revolver magazine, Anselmo was asked about the song "Mourn" on the latest DOWN album, which was reportedly written about Dimebag. "That's a very hard, hard song for me to really… honestly, the song speaks for itself," Anselmo replied. "It's about feeling isolated from my family in Texas, feelings about the obvious… deep, deep, deep feelings every day. You know, I've been very quiet ever since the incident, but it's all good. Everyone else has aired their laundry, like on VH1. I'm sorry, I thought what VH1 did was awful. They glossed over everything PANTERA did to and for metal, and not once… I'm not realy sure how it was put, but there was a segue or something that described [Darrell's] killer [Nathan Gale] as 'what many feel was a disgruntled fan angry that PANTERA had broken up.' But not once did they go into the psychology of the killing, and how he was dishonorably discharged [from the Marines], that his mother bought him the gun for Christmas because he was depressed, how he had been kicked out of the same club a weekend before for acting strange. He was going to shoot whoever, and it happened to be one of my best friends, one of my brothers, and one of the most beautiful people…"
Guitar World magazine conducted an interview with Dimebag's girlfriend of 20 years, Rita Haney, for its March 2008 issue, which contained a special section dedicated to Dimebag, the magazine's 2008 Hall Of Fame winner. When asked about her comment in the VH1 "Behind the Music" episode about PANTERA where she said that she told Anselmo that she would blow his face off if he showed up at Dimebag's memorial or funeral, Haney replied, "One thing that really bothers me is how they edited my interview for that show. They only used that one part from what I said our phone conversation was, and they took out important parts that explained what I meant. They left out the part where I mentioned how Rex [Brown, former PANTERA and current DOWN bassist] told me that they had to throw ice water on Phil just to sober him up enough to tell him that Darrell was dead. I thought it would be disrespectful for Phil to show up here in that shape on that drug. I got on the phone with Phil and asked him why he never bothered to call back all those times Darrell tried to reach him. He said, 'I'm so devastated.' I said, 'You're devastated? Your words murdered my boyfriend!' He said, 'You and I don't see eye to eye,' and I said, 'You're damn right we don't!' Then he said, 'Well, right things happen to right people.' I asked him to repeat that because I couldn't believe what I just heard and he did. It just blew me away that even then, at that moment, he would still try to throw something out there to take away his responsibility for his actions. That's when I told him that if he showed up I would blow his face off myself.
"The bottom line is Phil's actions led to what happened. If Phil hadn't quit PANTERA, Darrell wouldn't have been playing in that shithole where that guy could get to him. The guy wouldn't have been after Vinnie and Darrell if PANTERA had not broken up. It was all due to Phil's stupid, stupid actions."