With the first four Pantera reunion shows having just been announced, it has now been revealed that Zakk Wylde will use some of the late Dimebag Darrell’s gear during the concerts. The news comes from Dime’s longtime guitar tech, Grady Champion, who has been recruited to be part of the touring crew.
On Thursday (August 25th), the first four shows featuring the reactivated Pantera — classic members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown, along with Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante — were revealed. The metal band will perform at Mexico’s Hell & Heaven fest on December 2nd, followed by appearances at three Knotfest events in South America later that month.
Along with announcing his participation in the tour, Champion also mentioned that Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney offered him access to the legendary guitarist’s gear for Wylde to use. Champion will not serve as Wylde’s guitar tech, but will help the band try to capture Dime’s tone during the shows.
“For all the people I’ve ghosted, and anyone else who is interested, I’m doing a thing,” wrote Champion on Instagram. “I signed on for the Pantera tour. @dimebagzhag [Rita Haney] has allowed me access to some of Dime’s gear and I’m bringing it for Zakk. I’m not his tech, he has a bad ass, long-time one. The plan for now is for me to run effects and help bring Dime’s tone to the party.”
He went on to say that he was at first shocked by the headlines that Pantera would reunite without late brothers Dimebag and drummer Vinnie Paul, but eventually felt he should be a part of the tour if asked.
“I started with Pantera and I will end with Pantera,” continued Champion. “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, the official Pantera social channels have released a new promo video, touting the upcoming shows as “For the Brothers. For the Fans. For Legacy.”
See the Instagram posts from Grady Champion and the official Pantera channel below.