Dimebag Darrell’s Guitar Tech to Join Pantera Reunion + Bring Original Gear
Grady Champion, who served as Dimebag Darrell's guitar tech throughout his touring career, will be joining Pantera on their reunion tour. He announced the news through a lengthy caption on his social media.
Zakk Wylde will play guitar for Pantera throughout the reunion tour, which kicks off this later year at Knotfest. Champion explained that Darrell's longtime girlfriend and trustee of his estate, Rita Haney, gave him permission to use some of the late guitarist's gear for the tour, so that they can try to recreate Pantera's sound as authentically as possible. Charlie Benante will also take part in the reunion on the drums, in place of Vinnie Paul.
Champion won't be acting as Wylde's tech, though. According to his post, he'll be assisting with effects and helping to "bring Dime’s tone to the party."
"I started with Pantera and I will end with Pantera. I didn’t know the ‘right’ thing to think, to say, to do. When I saw the headline like everyone else, I threw up, sweaty palms, heart was freaking out, I had seen that headline 1000 times in my nightmares," Champion wrote. "After it sunk in and I spoke to everyone, I felt like I would be crazy to turn my nose up and say, 'F that.' I need to be involved if I am needed, turns out I am needed, and I’m fkn doing it... I wouldn’t be anywhere in life if it hadn’t been for Dime and his belief in me. So I have to go represent."
"Anyways, not too good with words, but heart is on the sleeve here," he continued. "Anyone that brings up ‘money grab’ has no concept of reality. How much it takes from people to do this. More dedication that you’ll ever see, tears, all of it. If you want to hate, don’t go, I don’t want to hear it. If you want a Pantera experience, this is it. We’re giving it hell, and going to give it all there is to give. Philip [Anselmo], Rex Brown, Zakk and Char Benante are going to bring it."
See his full post below.
Reports of the reunion first broke in early July, but no official dates or fill-in musicians had been announced at the time. Shortly after, it was revealed that Wylde and Benante would join Anselmo and Brown, and there was a flood of mixed reactions from the band's fans.
The first reunion shows were just announced yesterday (Aug. 25), which will see the quartet perform at four festivals later this year. It'll be the first time in over two decades that Anselmo and Brown will tour under the Pantera name. Earlier today, the band uploaded a trailer for the tour stating that the performances are "for the brothers, for the fans, for legacy."