There are moments in everyone’s life where something happens to completely change things. Whether subtle or profound, joyful or painful, these moments can forever alter our paths and shape us into the person we will become. In his new book, “Official Truth, 101 Proof” Pantera bassist Rex Brown shares some of these personal moments with us for the first time. From his description of hearing ZZ Top’s “Tush” on the radio for the first time at eight years old to the tragic phone call he received on December 8, 2004 when he found out that his Pantera bandmate and childhood best friend, Darrell “Dimebag” Abbott had been shot and killed, Rex’s story is both honest and brutally real.
The book opens with the tragedy of Darrell’s murder, but the real story begins many years before in rural Texas where four young boys shared a passion for music and grew up to form one of the most beloved metal bands of all time, Pantera. The books tells the story of the band’s ups and downs both professionally and personally. Readers get an inside look at their rise to fame with the “Vulgar Display of Power” record and their tours of the world. Rex also gives us insight into the unique dynamics within the band as they struggle with Phil’s drug addiction, Vinnie’s love of strip clubs, Darrell’s financial difficulties, and Rex’s own problems with alcohol. It is these four unique and creative personalities that came together to create something as special as Pantera and ironically those same four personalities that caused the tension and fighting which led to their eventual split.
Rockstars are often put on a pedestal and made to seem larger than life. Rex Brown gives us the other side of the story. His heartfelt account tells us the good, the bad, and the ugly, making “Official Truth, 101 Proof” much more than just a book about a rock band. It is a tale of friendships made and friendships lost and the triumphs and tragedies along the way. Dust off your bookshelf and clear some space. You’re going to want to add this one to your collection.