SKID ROW's RACHEL BOLAN On PANTERA Comeback: 'I Think It's Really Great That They're Doing This'

December 27, 2022

SKID ROW bassist Rachel Bolan has weighed in on the news that PANTERA's surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) have united with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) for a world tour under the PANTERA banner.

Anselmo and Brown, along with Wylde and Benante, are headlining a number of major festivals across North America, South America and Europe and staging some of their own headline concerts. They will also support METALLICA on a massive North American stadium tour in 2023 and 2024.

According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, as well as Brown, who last year said Wylde wouldn't tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It's unclear what changed his mind.

Bolan discussed his views on PANTERA's comeback in a recent interview with Ruben Mosqueda of We Go To 11. Asked if he will see any of the shows from the reformed PANTERA, he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, absolutely, yeah. I'll see it as many times as I can. I see a lot of naysayers, but here's the thing… First of all, Dime and Charlie were best friends. At Dime's funeral, Charlie gave a eulogy that was so incredible, it's giving me chills just thinking about it. And those guys were super tight, Zakk and Dime. And the rest of the guys were super tight. Those two people were like extended family to PANTERA, and PANTERA to them.

"I think it's really great that they're doing this and keeping the PANTERA music alive, keeping Dime and Vinnie's spirit alive," Rachel added. "It's not like they're doing it without the okay of the Abbott estate and everything like that, and Rita [Haney, Dimebag's longtime girlfriend]. So I think it's a great thing. I'm just so happy for Phil and Rex. I'm buds with all these guys, but Phil and Rex… And I've known Zakk for such a long time. I'm really happy for everyone involved, especially Phil and Rex. They're going and playing those songs… I mean, how many years has it been since they played 'em? Especially Phil and Rex together. It's gonna be frickin' amazing, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it."

Bolan's bandmate, SKID ROW guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo, manages Anselmo's DOWN project as part of the successful management company McGhee Entertainment (KISS, TED NUGENT) headed up by Doc McGhee.

This past summer, Sabo told the "Talk Toomey" podcast about the PANTERA comeback: "I will say this: in no way is it a reunion at all, obviously. This is a celebration of the legacy of a band that changed music, heavy music. And that's how I believe everybody is treating it. And for me as a fan, I can't wait to witness it, because those songs are amazing, as was the band. So to be able to go out and turn new people on to the machine that was PANTERA, the music that they created, and to celebrate the legacy of the band and to celebrate the lives of Vinnie and Dime, I think everything is right with that. And to be do it in a way — which I know they will — to do it in a way that is nothing but deeply respectful… And I think it's something, too, that gives people a reminder just how influential they were as a band and how influential both Dime and Vinnie were as musicians and songwriters.

"There's a lot to digest here, I guess," Snake acknowledged. "But really, the thing is that… It's really simple. It is a celebration of PANTERA's music and PANTERA's history with really great musicians."

The new PANTERA lineup made its live debut on December 2 at Mexico's Hell & Heaven Metal Fest.

Up until his passing, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for Dimebag's death.

Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.

Vinnie passed away on June 22, 2018 at his other home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. He died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn't pump blood as well as a healthy heart.

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