Various Artists
Dimevision Vol. 1: That's the Fun I Have

I always thought it was a little silly when I saw people crying their eyes out over a celebrity that they’d never even met. I’d never mourned a celebrity, even ones I really liked and respected. But that changed on Dec. 8, 2004. It was my birthday, of all days, in one of the shittiest years in my life in recent memory. I’d lost two family members in the fall, and when I heard that “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott had been murdered in Ohio, it felt like I’d lost a third.Whether you loved Pantera or hated them, it was hard not to like the goofy, half-crazed character that was their guitarist Dime. And if you play guitar or just appreciate great guitar-playing, it was impossible not to respect him. Both of those points come through strong on this DVD, the first in a planned series of looks at Dime’s life from his brother Vinnie Paul’s new label Big Vin Records.

Dimevision is a collection, largely of photos and home video material, that shows the guitarist alternately doing his infamous crazy stunts (much of the video serves as a cautionary tale against mixing rednecks, alcohol and fireworks) and shredding his ass off. There are moments that will have you rolling in the floor with laughter and others that will have you nodding your head in respect for his talents and mourning his loss all over again.

The real stars of this video are the early clips of Dime, from the hair band days back in the 1980s. Once Pantera took off in a heavier form following Cowboys from Hell, the band ignored those days and tried to pretend they didn’t exist. It’s nice that they pulled them out for this, and it’s great fun seeing Dime rip out Quiet Riot’s “Battle Axe” in 1984 or pounding out Metallica and Ozzy covers in 1988. Then there are scenes where he’s just wailing away, making sounds that you didn’t know could come out of a guitar. Those are the times when you’re left shaking your head and thinking what a waste and a shame it is that some fucked-in-the-head scumbag took him away.

Notable for his absence in the numerous photos and clips here is former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo. It’s not surprising, considering the bad blood, but I think it’s also unfair to the fans to see those years skimmed over just to keep Anselmo out of the video. If the rumored unfinished Pantera recordings are in fact out there and Vinnie does in fact plan to release them, I hope they can put the bad blood aside, get together and do it right for both the fans and Dime’s memory.

That aside, this video also has some good news for Dime fans in that it hints at the coming of a fourth Pantera home video, as well as a Damageplan home video. Then of course, Vinnie also plans to continue Dimevision as a series, and there is a request on here for fan home video to be included in future installments. Though he’s gone, he still has the power to entertain and impress us. Long live Dime.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
May 14th, 2006

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