Boy, what a cunt.
Before this turns into yet another dull run-down of who thinks Phil Anselmo is a prick and Pantera ruined metal because boo-hoo wahhh wahh, this shitfuck Rex is fucking worse. Way worse. So let's just concentrate on this utter pyschopath...
Seriously, whatever your opinion, just hear me out...
*** SOME CONTEXT ***
Let me preface this by saying that it's no secret I'm a big Pantera fan.
Pantera got me into playing guitar. I was 14, and of course it's never really one band, it's always a handful, and for me it was pretty much the big 4, and Pantera. But Pantera was "the one" that gripped me. When I heard Vulgar, it was just different. It took hold of me in a way that the others didn't, and my playing and writing is undeniably Dimebag. The nuances and the stylistic flares, I copped a good 80% of them from him.
I haven't exactly been the most fanatical fan. I'm not a memorabilia collector-type fan, or anything like that (but then that's just me, so the same can be said of anything in my life) But just from a musical standpoint, this is the band that lit me up, got that fire burning in me, made me want to be in a band.
As I got older I knew they were kinda douche-y. Whilst the music still drags me back to a certain place in my mind, and I still milk inspiration from it from time to time, the "culture" that surrounds the band, the members themselves and all the rest of it, was always in a different space to where I was growing as an adult. The knuckle-dragging party dude kinda stuff.
But you know, whatever, you don't have to love the members of the band to love the music. I knew Dime was universally thought of as a kind-hearted dude and that was always nice to hear. It was obvious Phil was a dick, and Vinnie always came off like the kinda dude who worked the graveyard shift at a shitty nightclub. He just talked like a boxing promotor no matter what context it was in.
But Rex was just... yeah, quiet I guess. Only made about a 10% appearance rate on the home movies. Never came across as particularly opinionated or a strong personality. If anything he came across quite well.
Since the advent of YouTube obviously you get a bigger insight into the personalities behind these people. And in more recent years, particularly since the release of this book, I kinda felt that he was the bitter jaded type who never got any attention because he was "just the bass player". The bass player in a band where you couldn't have been more outshone by the guitarist if you fucking tried
But, being the non-fanatical fan I am, I didn't exactly rush out to buy this book. In fact, it came out in 2013 and I've only just bought it...
In a nutshell, from reading this I've gleaned that;
He's arrogant, spiteful, a liar, forgetful, unprofessional, resentful, bitter, a bad liar, jaded, self-aggrandising, a poor writer, an idiot, did I mention liar?
If there's an activity, a sport, a hobby, a passtime, an instrument, you name it, he's done it, is better than you at it, knows all about it, knew about it before anybody else, is friends with the pros, gets it for free because he's Rex Brown, is respected for it, and is "known for it".
If there's a person mentioned you can bet that they look up to him, see him as a father figure, respect him, fear him, revere him, aren't as good as him, wish they were him, are jealous of him (seriously, I can't believe how many people he claims are jealous of him), would lose to him in a fight, aren't as clever as him, think he's a badass, love him.
He mentions things that even I know, as a fan, are completely factually incorrect.
He gets his own gear/endorsements wrong, mentions gear he was using at certain times when he clearly wasn't.
He burns SO MANY FUCKING BRIDGES in this thing it's unreal
Like he completely unnecessarily names people. For example he'll write stories about how he had a talk with a person, I dunno, like a producer/manager/publisher, anybody like that. It doesn't matter, it always ends the same way. And of course it'll transpire that this person was wrong, and that they tried to fuck him/the band over, or whatever. In the context of the anecdote it's COMPLETELY unnecessary to name them. Let alone HOW he names them. He does it right at the end of the anecdote, like this; "... and then I said no fucking way, man, you can't expect me to do business after you've said that horrible thing about my friend, no sir. That man's name was ______"
Vinnie Paul is mentioned probably more than anybody else in the book. However... every time he's mention (EVERY damn time) it's to put him down. He's fat, he's a loser, he's a fat fucking loser, he's embarrassing around women, he's a loser, he's got no talent, he's fat, he's a pervert, he can't deal with confrontation, he's a pussy, he's fat, he's rude, he's obnoxious, he's a loser, etc etc...
Like by the 10th or so time he's mentioned it's just too much. Not ONCE does he complement him. Obviously some misplaced older brother shit going on there or something, but the man was an absolute drumming legend whether you like it or not. A game-changer in terms of how drums are engineered, and he did that himself by experimenting and learning from his dad's studio. Then for this hack to not even acknowledge that throughout the entire book was upsetting for sure, and said way more about Rex's jealousy and bitterness than anything else.
In fact throughout the entire book, even when he does complement someone, he can't do it without giving himself a little praise too.
He's all up on Phil's dick a lot of the time, the way he describes him in stories is almost sychophantic, whilst simultaneously perpetuating the idea that he himself is "just like that, too". He just can't let anybody have anything. He's the complete archetypal insecure tough-guy, constantly trying to convince you that he'd also have done that too, given the chance.
It's fucking tiresome.
And where Dimebag is concerned... I mean this is mostly why I wanted this piece of shit in the first place, to maybe hear some cool stories I hadn't heard... It's the same thing really. A little complement here, a little put-down there..
From what I've watched of Dime over the years, the dude had a great sense of humour. It was slightly surreal, hyperbolic, sometimes nonsensical and silly, kinda similar to mine. During the 1993 guitar clinic (up on YouTube, watch it!), when someone asked the question "sometimes my bassist and I disagree on riffs and songs etc and he's really stubborn, what do I do?" to which he replied "shit man, I dunno, call the cops or something". Which I found fucking hilarious. At one point he also uses the phrase "sprained a kidney muscle". The guy was obviously just goofing around and had a playful mind.
Rex is constantly calling Dime dumb throughout the book. But in my opinion he just didn't "get" his sense of humour and took everything he said too literally. He tells a story of them crossing the border into Canada, and the immigration officer asked Dime what kind of citizenship he had. Dime said "Regular, sir". To me that was clearly a joke that neither the officer nor Rex got. Rex goes on to comment how Dime "wasn't the most accademic guy". No, maybe not, but he's fucking funny and has a personality. Maybe you should try it, then you wouldn't have to write a fucking book to convince people how great you are.
In fact Rex comes off as the kind of dry humourless asshat who sees people who joke around a lot as "stupid", that much is clear. I know far too many people like that and they suck the life out of any room.
His childhood chapter is full of stories about him being a badass, kicking people's asses, influencing people. He reckons he was a huge influence on the Abbott brothers. Before he showed up, apparently they didn't party, were pretty dorky, then they met the mighty Rex Brown and they were all of a sudden party animals. Of course, Dime saw him as a father figure (they're like two years apart?)
Oh and don't get me started on the music! The self-aggrandising and delusions of grandeur where music is concerned, FUCK. ME. It's off the charts. You'd be forgiven for thinking this prick invented jazz. He's constantly reminding you that he's musically superior to everyone. Every project he's ever been a part of he was having to drag people along, sick of waiting for them to catch up to his musical superiority. He can read music like nobody else and can think quicker, play faster, intellectually out-think them...
Content aside, this book just reads poorly. It's like a cross between Donald Trump's tweets, and Garrett's hyperbolic and affected mega-posts. In fact, dude you might wanna get some legal representation. This dude's totally jacked your act
I was ambivalent about Rex Brown. Erring on the side of thinking he might be a bit jaded. Now I fucking hate him with the intensity of a thousand suns. He makes Phil Anselmo likeable and endearing.
Fuck this guy, I will never listen to anything he puts out.