Pantera: Behind The Music is an episode of VH1's popular music artist documentary series that chronicles the history of the band, Pantera.
As like most of the episodes from the series, the documentary features commentary, interviews and archival footage of the band's formation and evolution in sound, the band member's lives, their albums and until their eventual breakup.
The Pantera episode originally aired on May 11th, 2006 during VH1's May Metal Mayhem.
In the early 1990s, when hair metal was being sheered from the charts by grunge and earnest hard-rockers like Guns N Roses, Pantera, righteously flew the hard-edged heavy metal flag, almost single-handedly saving the genre from extinction.
Formed in 1981 by brothers "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and Vinnie Paul Abbott while still in high school, Pantera quickly developed a rabid following as hard-drinking, hard rockers in the Southwest triangle of Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana while issuing four independent albums throughout the `80s.
National success would elude them, however, until vocalist Phil Anselmo joined the party in 1988. Signed to Atlantic in 1990, Pantera's major label debut Cowboys From Hell, put the thrashy petal to the metal, earning guitarist Dimebag Darrell recognition as one of heavy rock's true innovators.
On the road, Pantera's traveling show was legendary for its debauchery. Vinnie Paul and Dimebag were known to imbibe a cocktail or ten before, during and after gigs. By the mid-90s, vocalist Phil Anselmo developed a nasty heroin habit. He overdosed in 1996 after a Pantera gig in Dallas. The singer hid his drug use from the band, and became increasingly estranged from his bandmates, spending more time on side projects like Down and Superjoint Ritual.
Pantera formally disbanded in 2003, though they hadn't recorded together since 2000's "Reinventing the Steel," a platinum seller that culminated with another Grammy nomination. Then, on December 8, 2004, the ultimate rock and roll tragedy struck. Shortly after his new band Damageplan hit the stage at a Columbus, Ohio club, Dimebag Darrell was murdered, shot three times at point blank range by former Marine and Pantera fan Nathan Gale. Behind the Music: Pantera uncovers the true story of this resilient, hard rocking band.
The episode is an in-depth look into the band behind the scenes and the bad blood between its core members. Such topics the show documents are:
- Darrell Abbott and Vinnie Paul Abbott's childhood and their early interest in music.
- The Abbott Brothers forming Pantera with Rex Brown and Terry Glaze in 1981 and their ensuing glam metal sound and image.
- The firing of Glaze as vocalist after a change in sound, resulting in the position being filled by Phil Anselmo.
- The release of Cowboys From Hell in 1990 and subsequent touring.
- Dimebag's "alcohol as medicine", backroad parties, behind the scenes and the release of Vulgar Display of Power.
- The band's vow to make each album heavier and heavier and releasing Far Beyond Driven.
- Phil's drug addiction and back pain troubles and beginning turmoil for the band.
- Release of The Great Southern Trendkill and Phil's heroin overdose.
- Inner tension between members that lasts after Phil's overdose.
- Release of Reinventing the Steel and the breakup of the band over personal problems.
- Formation and regrouping of new bands from all members in forms of Down, Superjoint Ritual and Damageplan and rising turmoil between Abbott brothers and Anselmo.
- Dimebag's Murder on December 8th, 2004 during a Damageplan concert.
- The band former members as of 2006 and reflections of Dimebag's death and funeral.
- Overview of the band and praise of Dimebag Darrell.