"Dimebag" Darrell's Former Girlfriend Slams Phil Anselmo
Band Photo: Damageplan (?)
Metal Monthly conducted an interview last month (November 2007) with Rita Haney, the longtime girlfriend of late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal Monthly: Your thoughts on Phil [Anselmo, ex-PANTERA singer]. Is he a part of the problem or part of the solution?
Rita: [Laughs] He's not our problem anymore. But seriously, I think people have the right to choose what they like or dislike. My issues with Anselmo are my own and they shouldn't have to be anyone else's. If I asked people to choose, then I wouldn't be any better than him. He has been the king of lies and manipulation in our camp for a long time. I know now that that started with the heroin use, but he can never go back to being the person he once was, and when he was that person — man, he was on! A great frontman, and I would never try and say different. But I just don't believe, or believe in him, anymore... I can't! When that Metal Hammer interview came out with Philip saying Dimebag Darrell needs to be beaten severely... and no matter how he tries to explain that one away, he said it. Plus a few other things. Metal Hammer sent the audios of his interview to Vinnie [Paul, Dimebag's brother and former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN drummer] and yes! That's Phil Anselmo's voice. I heard it myself. But after it was posted on Blabbermouth, Dime asked me — and I could hear the lump in his throat — "What did I ever do to him?" And you know, I had to fight the lump in my own throat, I hated seeing him hurt, and he asked me again, "What did I ever do to him?" And I told him, "Nothin', baby. All you ever did was love him in his heart you are the one person on this earth that he truly respects and he can't face you... so in his drug-induced mind he's made you his enemy... for no reason at all... all because he's a junkie and you're not, which makes you not part of his world." And ya know, he said, "Maybe you're right, but I can't do this anymore." I know the last thing Dime told me that day about him was he was done! He would never stand on stage with him again! Philip had humiliated and embarrassed him for the last time! Dime told me then, "I'm writing him off. No longer will he trample through my peaceful mind!" And when that tour bus came home and there was no one to get off of it... that was one of the hardest things I had to do was go on there and pack up his bunk, but while I was doing it I found a two-page letter that Dime had written about Philip and in his own handwriting. It says what he had told me that day and a few other things about Mr. Anselmo, so in my heart I just can't believe in him anymore... It's tired. When Dime forgives him then I will... I have to stand by Dime and his brother; it's what I know is right.
Metal Monthly: Many people do not know that Eddie Van Halen buried one of his guitars with Darrell. This is true, right? And like 20 bottles of Crown Royal?
Rita: [Laughs] There's a few bottles of 7 up in there too! My boy loooves Seagram's! But yeah, Vinnie and I were trying to figure out which guitar, and about that time Ed called... he asked me on the phone if there was anything he could do, and I said, "Yes, as a matter of fact there is... Can you stripe him a yellow-and-black guitar?" He said, "Are you sure you don't want the red-black-and-white?" I said, "No... Dime told me the yellow-and-black is the shit! It's the toughest lookin'!" He always thought that. We had just seen VAN HALEN in Midland, TX a few weeks earlier and that was the first time Dime ever got to meet Eddie Van Halen. They hung out before and after the show. Dime even got to play on his rig at soundcheck. He was like a kid in a candy store... the way his eyes were lit up. He told me later in the limo — which Van Halen provided — "How cool is that?" Anyway he leaned over and looked me right in the eyes and said, "If I died tonight, it wouldn't matter, 'cause I've done everything now, I've met Eddie Van Halen!" and he had the biggest smile on his face... he was so happy! But, shit, I strayed! I'm the world's worst about telling 10 stories at once! [Laughs] Back to Ed... He said, "OK," that he would be down in a couple of days. When Ed came in at the viewing, he had the guitar, but it wasn't the guitar we expected... he told Vinnie and I that "Dime was an original and only an original deserves the original!" He popped open the case and there it was... his original '79 still with the rusted set of strings on it! It was so amazing!!! I took it in to Dime and I said, "See, baby, you didn't get a replica! You got THE one," and I gave him a kiss on the forehead and place it in there with him... Ed was awesome and I thank him still!
Metal Monthly: I saw you recently got one of the coolest tattoos ever, and you were filmed [for the "LA Ink" show] while doing it. What was that experience like?
Rita: Ya know, I hadn't had a tat in over seven years. I was kinda nervous. I didn't know how it was going to feel in that area and on the hand, but believe it or not, it was really smooth... Kat's an amazing artist, we all know that, but she has an awesome touch when it comes to layin' ink! Now I ain't gonna lie, it did sting when it came around the elbow and the knuckles, especially that joint on top of the wrist! [Laughs] But it rocked! I'm so proud of this tat! The portrait she did is very sentimental to me 'cause he was actually handing me down a shot on the headstock of his guitar in Chicago and the House of Blues. I was in the photo pit filming and Chad Lee, the photographer, was right next to me and he snapped the photo. When I look at the portrait in the mirror and see the look in his eyes and the smile on his face, I know he was looking at me... that look was for me and it makes me smile.
Metal Monthly: Rita, I know how TV works and they edit things down... On the ["LA Ink"] interview you probably said a lot that was cut out. Is there anything you would like to say to the families of the other guys who lost their lives that most tragic night?
Rita: Yeah, we interviewed for two or three hours and they took segments out of place. I've only seen the show once, but for instance, when I'm talking about how the events of the night unfold... They had asked me a question of how I knew, and they took those clips from me describing mine and Vinnie's phone call and what he was telling me at that particular time… before we knew everything and before I read the autopsy, so unless you hear the whole thing then, yeah, I guess there are people out there that are going to try and turn it into something else. One thing that I want to make clear, I was not there that night and I have never once claimed to be. When I say "we," I'm referring to our family and organization, I did not mean for people to misinterpret that, and yes, in those interviews I named everyone's names who were there on that awful night... Eric, Nathan and Mayhem [DAMAGEPLAN's head of security] — and his name is Mayhem when it comes to our camp, just like Kat [DAMAGEPLAN drum tech] is Kat, not John Brooks. But I was not in control over how that show was edited, and I feel for those families and their losses. I hate that the thing we share in life is that fuckin' night. But I will not represent Dime in a bitter way. Yeah, I could sit around and be angry and shitty and point fingers at everybody else that didn't save him. I mean, come on... it happened how it happened, and there's nothing we can do to change that now. But yeah, inside sometimes that tries to bubble to the surface, but he wasn't that kind of person, and I will not let myself represent him that way either. The only thing I know I can do is come away from this and share with other people what I learned from him. Dime gave me so much. Even though he was taken away, I can't complain. I'm just thankful for all the "Dime time" he gave me! If I can help put a smile on someone's face, then hell yeah, I will! When I grieve for him, it's on my own time, not someone else's. They shouldn't have to deal with my burdens and issues or what I keep inside. Dime was about puttin' that smile on their face and makin' people happy, and so am I. To quote him one more time, "You either roll with it, or you get rolled over." I heard about a post that someone put up on MySpace from one of the family members of the other victims, but I have not read it personally. I heard they took potshots at the fact that Dime and I weren't married and all kinds of other bullshit nitpicks. Not that I owe anybody an explanation, but I don't do the marriage/kid thing — that's my business and it should remain, unless I choose to share it, you know. It's like religion... no one wants someone else's beliefs shoved off on 'em, but I will not apologize for something that I had no control over or that was not my fault. I do not know the other people, with the exception of Mayhem, but from their actions and giving there lives to help, I would not think they would want to be represented with such bitterness either. And I can't claim to know how their family members feel about their loss. I only know how I feel and how my family feels! I'm all about helping out where I can. I take care of my own, I always have! I have not once ever been contacted by any of them... But, if there's something I can do to help raise money or charity stuff, whatever... then bring it! But I will not let someone try and make me feel like I owe them something, because I don't and I have not asked them for anything in return as well. So my question is this: I would just like to know how you come to the conclusion that it's my responsibility and no one else's that was affected by this tragedy? Why am I the person who has to try and make it right for you? Well, there is no right for this situation and there never will be, unless those people who lost there lives that night come walking through the door right now. I do wanna give a shout out to Nathan's [Bray] mom. She is the only other family member that I've had the privilege to meet and God bless her!
Please share this article if you found it interesting.
- Previous Article:
Echoes of Eternity Seek Touring Keyboardist
- Next Article:
Metal Church Singer To Perform With Katagory V
36 Comments on "Dimebag's Former Girlfriend Slams Phil Anselmo"
To minimize comment spam/abuse, you cannot post comments on articles over a month old. Please check the sidebar to the right or the related band pages for recent related news articles.