For Dimebag and Vinnie

It was early Saturday that I read the Vinnie Paul had died.

I was the immediately reminded of hearing of the death of his brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott in 2004. That day I was going to a gig (I believe it was a Thursday) in Manchester, I think it was the Main Debating Hall (MDH, now known as Academy 2) and it was the Wildhearts.  No mention, not that I expected any, was made of Dimebag’s passing.

The following day, it was Fear Factory at the Academy and it was, as the speaker cabinets were emblazoned with DBD, the most subdued and depressing metal gig I’ve been to.

Dimebag was shot dead live on stage, with his brother playing drums behind him, as part of their DamagePlan group.

For a beer reference, DamagePlan is also the name of a great beer by Marble Beers of Manchester, when they made actual beer before producing a load of lagers and being far too concerned with virtue signalling and being so woke it hurt. Still thanks for the memories.

The death of Dimebag left a great big hole in the world of metal, the genre had lost one of its true natural talents (and by all accounts a great human being). When I wrote this parody piece using Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” I stated that the guitar solo was the 5th best of all time.

Of course I meant it was my fifth favourite but as a point of reference I would stick any number of Dime’s solos above it.

I am fortunate enough to have seen DamagePlan (and likewise Vinnie and Dime) play live.

I am even more fortunate enough to have seen their previous group, Pantera, play live, numerous times; something that, because of the tumultuous nature of their split, Dime’s death and their legendary status within metal music, the clamouring for a reformation, or at least a tribute tour, with Zak “every not is a pinch harmonic” Wylde on guitar, that because so many seemed to have missed out it is really something I can hold on to as special, even almost unique.

Being that I am a guitar player and my brother is a drummer, there was a natural connection for the two of us to Pantera and whereas I don’t have the required level of skill (or really the drive to practice) to truly master a Dime solo, the machine that is my brother can still rip out Vinnie’s beats and we can still jam a basic Pantera song should the mood ever take us.

And as my love of guitar rubbed off onto my brother so he could appreciate guitar work, so to did his love of drumming and drummers on me.  In fact at gigs these days I do find myself listening to the drummer more, a phenomenon I place firmly at the lazy feet of Lars “I can’t really be bothered to play properly any more” Ulrich.

Vinnie’s passing at 54 (Darrell was a mere 38) leaves another hole in the metal world.  It was a shame that he and Phil Anselmo could never seem to rectify their differences and if that is still the case it would serve as a reminder that perhaps if you have fallen out with a former friend, maybe reconciliation is better sooner as sometimes you may never get the chance and regret is always a terrible thing to taste.

 

I’ll leave you with these two Pantera songs that for me best showcase the talents of Vinnie Paul and Dimebage.

 

Domination (Live) – the riffs, the lyrics, the melodies, the live energy, the breakdown and that solo….

Note: the recorded version from Cowboys From Hell starts with Vinnie apparently yelling “fart smells like a motherfucker”

 

Floods – I offer this a Dime’s best solo (and outro) for the more discerning, less metal-orientated reader/listener, it really is quite sublime.

 

 

Thanks for the music Vinnie and Dime.

 

Thanks for reading.

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Kerry King…ates…

At one time I though Kerry King of Slayer over used the word instigate but it turns out he doesn’t.  In fact on Slayer’s last album, 2015’s “Repentless,” he doesn’t use it at all.

On 2009’s “World Painted Blood” (what should have been Slayer’s last) he uses instigate in 2 songs, which out of the 5 songs he was solely credited for writing the lyrics to is only 40%.

It only previously featured, once, in 2001’s “God Hates Us All” too.

So basically the initial premise of writing this piece quickly died its death.

But then you realise that the “ate” part of instigate may well be why I think I hear it more than I actually do and then a quick search, or listen seeing as Slayer songs are great in that they are generally short and to the point, and you realise it is probably King’s favourite rhyming sound.

Perpetrate, tolerate, ultimate, manipulate, germinate, delicate, liquidate, hesitate, state, fate, mate, facilitate, emanate, devastate, demonstrate, infiltrate, mutilate, vaccinate, stimulate, intimidate, violate, penetrate, regurgitate, eradicate, replicate, exterminate, intoxicate, exacerbate, create, template, relate, asphyxiate, accentuate, obliterate, depopulate, incinerate, illuminate, initiate, indoctrinate, masturbate, calculate, re-instate, celebrate, desecrate, saturate, stimulate, lacerate, masticate, late, annihilate, castrate, devistate, dominate, instigate….and…

Hate.

Slayer should have retired when Jeff Hanneman died in 2013 but I suppose 5 years dragged out after that point is as good a time as any.

Still, finishing then would have save me and my brother shedding some tears as we watched 2014 Slayer at Sonisphere.

Lacrimate.

 

Thanks for reading.

A Look Back In Anger. And Every Other Fucking Direction

The Terrorists will not change us…

Except when it comes to delaying our election process, delaying democracy.

Except when it comes to the state wanting even greater powers to actually hack into its citizens private communications.

Except when it comes to freedom of speech because apparently 80,000 people want The Sun banned in Manchester because they are brain-dead twats living in an irony-free zone.

Except I don’t full know how to express myself in words, so here are some emojis.

Except I want people to lose their jobs if they make a joke or say something possibly defamatory.

Except now I’ve got a tattoo – solidarity brothers and sisters.

Except when it comes to being able to actual discuss just what the fuck is going on in the world.

Standard Response

Following the events at the Manchester Arena on the 22nd of Many 2017 there followed the usual, typically predictable response to a terrorist attack.

The #PrayFor and #NotAll hashtags fly like winged monkeys, the avatars changed to accommodate the latest geographical victim, well one that is in the West at least, you’d never have a static avatar if you had to commemorate everyone blown to bits in the Middle East.

The UK press wait a day or so and then dwell upon the attacker(s) because for some reason it feels that the public need to know their name(s), their background, their history because that doesn’t detract from the victims at all.

We also have to preach the mantra that terrorists don’t represent Islam but merely a warped view of it and it has nothing to do with religion.

That last point is bollocks, always has been, always will be…

Give it a week and then the police will release a report about an increase in “hate crime” – quite what being blown up, run over, shot or stabbed is if it isn’t hate is beside the point in this most Orwellian-like crime, but if you’ve been called a nasty name that too is a crime apparently on a par with loss of life and needs as much media focus.*

Above all it is pushed by all and sundry that we should “carry on” and that was should not let “hate beat love.”

Hate

Hate is OK.  Hate is a valid human emotion.

This past fortnight has all been about love, or people’s versions of what love is, not even Foreigner knew what it was and needed it showing to them but either way its was all about love.

One big, homogeneous, nondescript, identity-less Love.

The avatar changes, the bee tattoos, the candle-lit vigils do nothing but focus on the individual and their suffering, which is nothing, it is absolutely fuck-all to those that were actually killed, their next of kin and those who actually could have been victims.

What, so you didn’t “love Manchester” before you changed your avatar and you will stop loving it when you change it?

Your bee tattoo and graffiti, possibly a nice symbol of solidarity is really just look-at-me narcissism, less about love and more a constant reminder of carnage.

You only have love? You have no hate, because hate is all terrorists have and you are better than terrorists?

Not killing people makes you better than a terrorist, not having any other emotions makes you an unthinking drone.

And this is the problem.  I don’t hate you for changing your avatar or getting a tattoo or painting a picture, or singing a song or lighting a candle.   Grief, if that honestly what it is as opposed to relief, is something personal that we all deal with in our own way.

What I do hate, apart from delusional, murdering fucksticks is the rest of the response; that we carry on as normal and yet we still modify our behaviour, our language, our ability to ask questions or offer up answers and even opinions.

In the Kübler-Ross model there are five stages to dealing with grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

There seems to be a collective brain-fart at work that we avoided the 2nd stage and just focus on the 3rd and 5th.  The world of social media seems to turn into Rimmer after he has had his first meeting with the Polymorph in Red Dwarf.

You neither have to bargain with terrorists, because you can’t and you certainly don’t have to accept it, regardless of what Mayors of London say.

I have love and it doesn’t need mood slime to help flourish, but I certainly have hate too.  The hate won’t keep me any more safe that those apparently without it but it is my response to events, along with continuing to question and to use the same language.

Hate is OK.  Hate is a valid human emotion. It is all about how you channel it.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

*Hyperbole but it does seems as much gravitas is placed on “hate crime” statistics than any other crime.  Crime is hate, all crime is a hate crime.