This one has caught me completely off guard. I should know better by now, but I didn't expect that this soap opera called life could send such a shitty chapter. When I read the news, I had a first surrealistic instant when I thought "What is this shit? I better reboot the computer so this goes away. It's just not possible."
Pantera was once a "fashionable" band, and I have a feeling it has undergone the fate of things that are "fashionable"; at one point, they "go out of fashion", to leave room for the next shiny thing. And then you see people hating on them with the same virulence with which they used to love them just a few days before. That's how mobs act.
But in my case it works different. Pantera left a body of work that was great then and is great now, original and risky music that helps me through the day, music that for me is still alive and kicking (just yesterday, as I was jamming, I played some riffs from them). They were also part of my musical formation, I consider them one of my sensei (and for sure many other people do, although they probably won't admit it). So when some of the people who have made possible such a refuge, such a "safe place" dies, accordingly, you die a little too.
My sadness yesterday when I knew brought an instant association with that moment in 2004 when I read that Dimebag had been shot. What a terrible collection of misfortunes has this bunch endured.
I also enjoyed Damageplan and HellYeah ("Blood for blood" is an album I've listened to a lot); I was happy for Vinnie when some time after the tragedy he decided to resume his playing, protected by a gang of buddies (as he referred in the "Under the belt" documentary, his friends kinda made his life a "hell" until he said "yeah" :) ...) It felt sad and wrong that his work and his talent had to be interrupted by some loonie with a gun. Although of course anyone would understand; being in his shoes, having had to witness that...
But he was tough, and full of good humor like his brother, and just moved on. He was a drumming powerhouse and an original musician too, one of a kind, like Nick Menza, like Cozy Powell. Like them, he's passed too soon. Thank you for the music and the inspiration, Vinnie. In moments like this I'd like to believe in some heaven where you'll be now meeting your brother and rocking out together again until the neighbors protest...
I have a guitar and I'm gonna use it