Pantera, Dimebag Darrell, Zac Crain, Robert Wilonsky and the Dallas Observer

Published by: DPJ on 11th Oct 2010 | View all blogs by DPJ
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I'm a little behind on this one, but I just felt I had to say something.  I was surfing the net, as I always do, and I came across a Darrell Abbott biography by Zac Crain.  Darrell Abbott was mostly known under the moniker Dimebag Darrell and he is the late guitarist for the Dallas/Arlington Tx metal band Pantera.  I grew up in Dallas and was one of the many who witnessed Pantera's rise from club act to arena headliner.  Despite some people complaining about their early hair band days, Pantera was such a great band to see at the time.  The group had released several indie albums and were already packing the clubs with headbanging metalheads and lots of yummy women.  I loved going to those early Pantera shows, not only because I was a fan, but because I always got laid, which at the time was really my only priority.  Now, I could go on and on about some of the great times I had, but I don't want to take away from the point I'm about to make. 

As I mentioned before, I found an article by Zac Crain and saw that the guy had written a biography about Darrell's life.  Normally, I would not 
pay any attention to who wrote the biography, but in this case, the name Zac Crain triggered a flood of unforgiving emotions.  I couldn't remember where I had heard the name before, until I looked up at the top of the article and saw it was from the Dallas Observer.  Suddenly, ten years removed from a life I left behind, everything came back.  Zac Crain was a writer for the Dallas Observer!  For years I read that publication and always had a love/hate relationship with it.  Some of the articles were good, but the music section was such a piece of crap that eventually I stopped reading it altogether.  To Zac's credit I did not despise him as much as I LOATHED staff-writer Robert Wilonsky.  For a time, the former high school cheerleader, Wilonsky, was their head writer (I believe) and his one-tracked little mind could only handle the ridiculous music coming from Deep Ellum.  The guy talked about Rhett Miller so much that I assumed Miller's sack must be permanently implanted in Wilonsky's mouth.  If it wasn't Tripping Daisy, Rhett Miller, or the handful of other crappy-indie-sensitive-emo bands playing in Deep Ellum, Wilonsky did not consider it worth covering.  Although I do remember his love for Cheap Trick being more than homoerotic.  Every single one of those Dallas bands he covered, never did anything  and compared to Pantera, they really didn't do anything.  Tripping Daisy got signed and released the lamest song ever, "I Got a Girl", before they faded into complete obscurity.  Later, the singer put together his hippie-choir before fading away for good.  If the world would have loved Rhett Miller and his Old 97's as much as Wilonsky did, Miller would have gone double platinum in a week.  But the world didn't and they never even had a gold record before being placed in the "Who Are They Now?" file. 

Really all this Wilonsky talk is somewhat pointless, but seeing the article where Zac Crain from the Dallas Obsever wrote a biography on Darrell's life made me want to vomit and brought back all of those despicable feelings.  I figured if I didn't say anything, it would never be said at all.  I also should say that I did like Pantera, but I didn't think they were the greatest band in the world.  It was the fact that a local magazine would completely ignore its most successful group that I found so offensive.  While Pantera was a local band, the Dallas Observer ignored them.  Once the band signed with a major label, they still ignored them.  Once the band went gold, still ignored.  Platinum?  Ignored.  Then they went double platinum and still the Observer did not acknowledge them and if they did, it was only to make fun of them in one or two sentences.  But then the guitarist was brutally murdered on stage and the Observer finally decided Pantera was worthy enough to place in their magazine.  So, for Zac Crain to even write something on Darrell's life is damn near sacrilegious.  If you see Crain's book out there, avoid it, don't buy it and if you agree with what I'm saying, spread the word.  The only reason the book was written was so he could capitalize on Darrell's life and death.

High School Cheerleader
Robert Wilonsky

Comments

1 Comment

  • Dan Adnoyd
    by Dan Adnoyd 7 years ago
    My cousin grew up in Dallas, and I thought you were going to cradle the balls of Pantera also (he loves Metallica too). However, my cousin has repeatedly told me how, (politically-incorrect-homosexual-derogatory-term) the D.O. was in the gay 90's.

    My other cousin from Lake Tahoe told me how all the girls shunned a hair band noisy and ugly from Texas, in 1989, and how they offended even the bar manager. I don't think anyone got laid that night, sheesh Flock of Seagulls was still touring.

    But even if one of the homo Brits died, I'd think it would only be a cool book if the author was one of his closest faggoty friends. Those lame papers have built buildings in their own honor(I have been to Big D recently-they have).

    Let the 'Village' hear your Voice!! Say NO to Zac's sack 'o' pain. Let D.B.D. RIP.
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