Dimebag Darrell-Van Halen Connection On ‘Headbangers Ball’

Headbangers Ball” is back with a vengeance over at MTV2, where host Jose Mangin gives metalheads their weekly dose of heavy riffs and thrashing vocals. And each week we’ll dive into the show for some metal immersion therapy and come back to you with the five most face-melting moments for metal purists and noobs alike.

Last week our humble correspondent Jose traveled out to Hollywood for the second annual Dimebash remembering Pantera‘s fallen guitar hero Dimebag Darrell. And this year all the proceeds went to Stand Up and Shout, the cancer foundation honoring metal great Ronnie James Dio, who died of stomach cancer last year (go here to donate). So join us for the Face-Melting Five, since Dio and the pink beard in the sky wouldn’t have it any other way…and keep your eyes peeled for a Van Halen cameo.

1. Tattoos: The true measure of a fan.

If by some glitch in the Matrix you were still weren’t sold on Jose’s metal credentials, our host got a tattoo of Pantera’s “Cowboys From Hell” logo from Blue, travelling tattoo artist to the stars. In Pantera bassist Rex Brown’s hotel room, no less! Tune in to see Jose plug through a story as he’s getting inked up, no wincing or anything. And that’s why, in terms of straight-up scary dedication, metalheads are right up there with the most aggro Euro soccer hooligans.

2. This is how it’s done.

If you’re new to the metal game and want to know where the genre’s current iteration began, then you have to start with the title track from Pantera’s 1990 genre-defining breakthrough. Phil Anselmo’s voice grates without being shrieky, as a funky-ass bass line dances around Dimebag’s chugging riff. And, of course, there’s the Dimebag solo. All you new kids, this is how it’s done.

3. Geeking out with Machine Head.

Machine Head ax man Phil Demmel geeked out with Jose about playing alongside Tom Morello, Geezer Butler, Sebastian Bach and other hard rockers at Dimebash. Note to self: somehow get tickets to next year’s Dimebash.

4. Surreal boner moment.

Like with Phil Demmel, DevilDriver guitarist Jeff Kendrick talked about the jitters that come with playing Pantera songs with Rex Brown, and how the entire all-star jam is just a surreal “boner moment.”

5. When Van Halen is on ‘Headbangers Ball,’ we have to talk about it.

Van Halen’s “Unchained” video may seem completely out of place on the Ball. Until you learn that Eddie Van Halen’s original black-and-yellow ’79 guitar was buried with Dimebag. No joke. Dimebag always thought his shredding contemporary’s ax was badass, and Eddie presented widow Rita Haney with the original for Dimebag’s casket. Feel free to use that little piece of trivia next time you’re trying to impress a metal betty.

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