The co-writer of Rex Brown‘s memoir has once again disputed the former PANTERA bassist’s claim that the book contains passages that were published without Rex‘s consent.
Four years after “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera” was released in 2013, Brown was publicly critical of the way his autobiography turned out, saying in interviews that the book’s publication is partly to blame for the deterioration of his relationship with another former PANTERA member, the band’s late drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott.
“There was a bunch of shit in my book that was not supposed to be in that book, and I went through ten different edits and they put it in there anyway, and it left a fucking bit of sour in some people’s mouths,” Rex told the “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” radio show in an August 2017 interview.
Brown‘s “Trunk Nation” comments echoed those he made during an online chat a month earlier. Asked what inspired him to write his memoir, Rex said: “That was just at a time where someone had come to me about a book offer and I said, ‘I don’t really wanna do one.’ But I had a lot of stuff, being one that really didn’t ever say anything to the press or… To me, it’s all about the songs, about the jam.” He continued: “It was [written] at a time of my life, and some of the stuff that was said in there shouldn’t have been printed; it was taken off the cuff. But I think, in general, that’s where I was at that time.”
Earlier this month, Brown‘s “Official Truth, 101 Proof” co-writer, Scottish author Mark Eglinton, addressed Brown‘s claims during an appearance on “Drag The Waters: The Pantera Podcast”. Asked if there was any truth to Brown‘s assertion that the book included “shit that was not supposed to be” there, replied (hear audio below): “That’s not true. And I said so at the time [in an August 2017 tweet]. And the agenda for [Rex saying] that was that I think Rex was talking to Phil [Anselmo, ex-PANTERA singer], and perhaps Vinnie at the time, [about] the possibility of getting back together to do something. And I think he needed to distance himself from what was in the book — simple as that. And I think that he was quite happy to throw me and the publisher under the bus by saying that.”
He continued: “I’m loyal to everyone I work with, but when I’m put in that position, I have to stand up for myself, and I also have to stand up for the publisher, because, at the end of the day, I’ll work with other people, and I have done. And I would never want anyone to think that I would put something in a book that they didn’t sign off on. I would never do that. I make it very clear that anything that goes in there, they must sign off on. And I knew it was signed off. So I’m afraid that that was just wishful thinking and an attempt to sort of distance himself, maybe in retrospect, from some of the things he said. But everything that was in that book was signed off.”
In a 2013 interview with MetalSucks, Anselmo was asked for his opinion of “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera”. He said: “Honestly, [Rex‘s] assessment of me [in the book] — I don’t care. Egotistical, self-centered, everything is always about me. Y’know what? I’m a lead singer and he’s a bass player. That’s his perception. So I’m fine with it. I don’t hold any fucking grudges. But I think he did take some angry swipes and I don’t need to be specific. There is a great deal of mythology when it comes to his ‘quitting’ DOWN. That particular chapter is a little disturbing.”
Anselmo also commented on the fact that Vinnie Paul was at times painted in a very negative light in Rex‘s book.
“I’m not sure that type of beating [on Vince] was necessary,” Anselmo said. “Vince is a difficult guy and was always a different type of guy. But did he deserve that type of beating? I don’t think so. It’s a shame.”
He continued: “Rex has many faults, just like anyone else. But it sure seems like he wants to put fault on other people to take away from his humanity. We’re all full of faults. Maybe it’s easier for some of us to admit.”
Brown defended his comments about Vinnie Paul during a 2013 interview with the “Energize With Lonn Friend” podcast. After revealing that he sent his book to Anselmo and Vinnie Paul, the bassist said: “Apparently, Vinnie isn’t very flattered by it. Vinnie, then, he can write his own fucking book, you know. With Philip, I haven’t heard any rebuttals, but I didn’t say anything in the book that wasn’t already out there, you know what I’m saying?!”
He added: “I think the reason they haven’t talked to me is ’cause it is the fucking truth. And sometimes you don’t wanna tell the truth. And I didn’t go out of my way to maliciously hurt any individual. But at the same time, if you’re gonna tell the truth, by God, you’d better be on the skinny. And I think Mark Eglinton, that did this thing with me, he really just kind of…. He put me down… You know how you have your dreams that you had in high school when you’re just… you’re in your underwear. That’s the way I felt with this book. If [you’re] not [being completely truthful in your memoir], I think it’s all a bunch of charade… And why would you wanna do that?”
Asked about the way he was depicted in “Official Truth, 101 Proof”, Vinnie Paul told “Rover’s Morning Glory”: “All I can say is that… I’ll refer to Philip‘s comment about Rex‘s book. A bunch of mythology, man. We don’t know where he came up with all this. More power to him, man.”
On page 172 of “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera”, Brown had the following to say about Vinnie Paul: “You need to understand that Vinnie is just a strange person — that’s all there is to it — and it’s either his way or the highway. I think he got most of that asshole-ishness from his old man, because in many ways they are very much alike. Vinnie was always all about the ‘party, party, party!’ and ‘eat that pussy!’ type of shit — to the extent that he thought he was fucking David Lee Roth. And him a drummer, can you imagine? But the truth is that he only got laid maybe one out of ten times and that’s if he was lucky. Being in a platinum-selling band is meant to be a head start when you’re trying to score with chicks, but he negated that by having no idea whatsoever how to treat or approach a woman. He’d just walk up and immediately start groping them, so it was no surprise that his strike rate was so pitiful. He acted like meeting him was a sexual audition and that just turned them off straightaway.” He continued: “And as if that wasn’t bad enough, when he didn’t get laid (ninety percent of the time, I’d estimate) he was the most miserable fucking guy on the planet. I just couldn’t live with him. He’d walk in the room in the morning and I’d just know. He’d be all snappy and pissed off with everyone and there was nothing anyone could do to change his mood. That became really boring.”
In November 2017, late PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott‘s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney criticized Brown‘s book as full of inaccuracies and described the PANTERA bassist’s portrayal of Vinnie Paul as “pretty hateful.” In an interview with Metal Forces, Haney stated about “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera”: “Good lord… It’s not good to write a book when you don’t remember things, and you have other people telling you in your ear, ‘This is how it went down,’ when it didn’t. I got to chapter three, and I felt like I needed to get a highlighter out for things I knew were incorrect. [Laughs] I know where Rex is today, and where is head is. I know he regrets a lot of the things that are in that book. It’s kind of a… I don’t know. How can you write a book when there’s shit you don’t remember?”
Haney also commented on the fact that “Official Truth” seemed to paint Vinnie Paul in a particularly unfavorable light.
“It seemed [to be a] potshot, like, ‘Let’s try to take some potshots and stab at you,'” Rita said. “And yeah, it was pretty hateful. It’s the pot calling the kettle black. How can you throw stuff out there when you’re just as guilty or guilty of worse things? Some of the stuff is not yours to tell, or yours to judge. And yeah, it was pretty shitty, I would say. I know [Rex] has regrets about that. If he doesn’t, he needs to.”
Vinnie Paul died in June 2018 at the age of 54 in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas. The official cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease.
Dimebag, who was Vinnie Paul‘s brother, was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Rex Brown image credit: BUILD Series