“Dimebag” Darrell Abbott‘s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney has criticized Rex Brown‘s book as full of inaccuracies and has described the PANTERA bassist’s portrayal of Vinnie Paul Abbott as “pretty hateful.”
Asked in a new interview with Metal Forces for her opinion of Rex‘s 2013 memoir, “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera”, Haney said: “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 the PANTERA drummer 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.”
The late PANTERA guitarist’s girlfriend added that she was open to the idea of one day releasing her own book, telling Metal Forces: “I think it could be kind of fun… I would have no problem writing about mine and Darrell‘s relationship, and we weren’t perfect. We had some pretty rough times a few times, but I also know in the end, the last few years of his life we were the happiest we ever were. I would not trade going through those mistakes because of where we wound up, and it took the horrible mistakes to get where we were. To tell someone else’s business is just not yours to tell, though, unless it directly affects you, and they didn’t tell the truth or something. Yeah, then I can understand defending yourself. A book about this is a touchy thing to write, especially with all of the history all of us have together, without hurting somebody.”
Four years after “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera” was released, Brown has been publicly critical of the way his autobiography turned out, saying in recent interviews that the book’s publication is partly to blame for the deterioration of his relationship with Vinnie Paul.
“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” radio show.
In a 2013 interview with MetalSucks, PANTERA singer Philip 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 how Vinnie Paul was portrayed 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 [my co-writer, Scottish author] 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.”
Rita Haney photo credit: VintageRock.com