Latest release: DimeVision Vol 2 – Roll With it Or Get Rolled Over (Metal Blade)Website: www.metalblade.com/dimevision/
There’s some good reasons why the latest DimeVision volume has taken so long to appear. Originally slated to follow up the first one in 2008, most of the team involved in the independent production, including Vinnie Paul and videographer Daryl ‘Bobby Tongs’ Arnberger, got busy in other areas.
“Bobby was out with Marilyn Manson, and on the road with Slipknot for a long time,” explains Rita Haney, Dimebag Darrell’s lifetime partner and the custodian of his video heritage. “Of course Vinnie had put together Hellyeah and was touring with that and you know, time got away. So we looked around and it was like, ‘Hey, ten years! We can’t let that happen!’”
Rita and Bobby doubled down over years of footage to finally put together DimeVision Vol. 2: Roll With it Or Get Rolled Over, a phrase Dime used to describe life on the road. Considering the obsessive amount of time the guitarist chose to film his and his bandmates’ shenanigans across two decades of madness, there certainly wasn’t a dearth of material to choose from. Not surprisingly, Haney says the hardest thing was “what you have to leave out. That was probably the most difficult decision: what you can’t put in there. What won’t fit.”
There are still hundreds of videos that haven’t even been watched yet, more than enough to ensure that DimeVision can become, as originally intended, an annual release.
“There’s definitely a lot more opportunity to share,” Haney says pleasantly. “What we really need is for people to get behind it. It’s an old-school format, DVD, and hopefully we’ll be able to put out more volumes.”
Dimebag’s seemingly endless enthusiasm for clowning, pranks and partying were well documented during his Pantera days on their series of home videos, eventually compiled as 3 Vulgar Videos from Hell in 1999. Rita is quick to point out that the ‘Dimebag’ everyone saw in public wasn’t just a character being played by the guitarist Darrell Abbott. That is literally how he was all the time.
“That’s something that I hope, sharing the DimeVision stuff that we do, that what you saw of him on stage with Pantera and in the home videos and stuff wasn’t just a face he put on. That was him 24/7. That was just how he is,” she says. “Even the footage of us at home – you can see that. That’s just how he is. That’s the one thing I hope to show. That’s him, 24/7.”
The special DVD/CD release of DimeVision 2 also includes five unreleased demos, recorded on four-track, songs Dimebag put together during moments of downtime from touring for his own amusement and not, as some may have speculated, lost Pantera songs. Haney is sharing them with his fans for the first time. As someone who knew him better than anyone, she knows that’s what he would have wanted.
“That’s how Darrell was. He was a complete open book. He was a fan himself. He wanted people to be treated how he wanted to be treated. That was the great thing about him. He always cared about all the people around him. You could tell that from those Pantera homes videos. If he was going to be a rock star, then everyone around him was going to come along too. People knew the crew’s names as well as they knew the band members’ names. That was something that he was always so gracious about, was sharing. What his life was, he wanted you to live it too. I am so grateful to him to have been part of that.”
Haney is also keen to acknowledge the important role Bobby Tongs played in the creation of the DimeVision series.
“It really couldn’t be done without Bobby Tongs,” she says. “He would see stuff he’d never seen that I’d shot and I’d see things that he’d shot that I’d never seen, so it was like seeing things fresh everyday. It was just great.”
There were, of course, moments when it was emotionally hard for the team.
“I know it was [difficult] for me and Bobby both,” Haney admits. “There’s little moments where you get choked up and you want to tear up and then the next moment you see something so funny that you’re laughing and your tears are all over the place. There’s more moments of laughter and humour that help you get through that process. It’s just an amazing, magical process as far as having the opportunity to be part of it.”
Dimebag Darrell meant a lot of different things to a vast number of people. With DimeVision, Rita Haney hopes that she can share and preserve what she believes to be his true legacy.
“For me, and I hope other people will feel this way too, it was his spirit. Just the way he lived. It’s just like the title says, DimeVision. There’s so many things going on in the world, always, all the time, and he was one of those exceptional people that saw stuff you might overlook. And that’s what we mean by DimeVision. There’s a kind of beauty in that.”