Interviews "Dimevision, Vol. 2" now in stores

Published on December 1st, 2017 | by Darren Paltrowitz


Rita Haney On The Legacy Of Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell Abbott, The New “Dimevision” DVD/CD, David Allen Coe, And KISS

When Dimebag Darrell Abbott was killed in 2004, this was viewed as a tremendous loss on many levels. For starters, Abbott was the founding guitarist of Pantera and Damageplan, known as one of rock’s greatest guitarists of all time, and largely viewed one of the innovators of groove metal. From more of a personal perspective, Abbott was generally viewed as one of the nicest guys in rock, the sort of person that no one would have a bad word to say about. It has been almost 13 years since the untimely passing of Abbott, yet his legacy remains strong and intact thanks to his long-time girlfriend Rita Haney and brother/drummer Vinnie Paul.

Beyond the music, Pantera was known to be one of the rowdiest bands on-tour. The Texas quartet had released multiple home videos, which were known as much for the live performances as they were the behind-the-scenes pranks and party footage. It seems like a camera was always rolling when Pantera was on the road, and fortunately so much of that footage was entertaining. After all, as often said, “before there was Jackass, there was Pantera.” The Dimevision series, as released by Metal Blade Records, just put out Volume 2: Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over on November 24th. This DVD/CD set not only features the expected high-quality video content, but also five previously-unreleased demos.

I had the pleasure of talking with Ms. Haney about Dimevision, Abbott’s everyday existence, and what else is coming up as the manager of Abbott’s archives. In turn, I was treated to some very funny stories, as printed below. More information on Dimevision can be found at, while Haney is on Twitter as @DimebagzHag.

How do you usually go about picking the material for Dimevision releases?

Rita Haney: You just want to put everything in there that you watch, so you have to start going, “okay, no, we have already got 43 segments… we will use this one next time, this one next time.” So we had quite a few things that were already pulled from Volume One, and then so much time had passed, we’ve even accumulated so many more tapes that we have actually manage to get cataloged. There is still so much footage that is unwatched, that hasn’t been cataloged either, you know?

You really don’t know what on the four-hour tape until you start getting through it. All of a sudden when we are watching something and we are putting something together and something clicks like, Oh hey, remember blah blah blah? Let us put this here.” It just unfolds as we are working on it.

We got together at The Fortress — mine and Darrell’s home — and that just seems to be the best place. It was just magic… Having cocktails and laughing and it kind of falls into place. I think the toughest part is deciding what not to put in.

Was it easy to find a label partner for Dimevision?

Rita Haney: So much time has gone by and so much has changed with the music industry and the whole digital age. This is something we are having to prove, we have to prove to our record label that the contract that the [Pantera] guys are under, they passed on us. They didn’t think that there was a market for it, so we took it to our really good friend Brian Slagel over at Metal Blade.

Brian has been doing this a long time, Metal Blade has been around a long time and there is a reason why. He understands, he knows, he is our people, and he is fan as well. We have got to prove ourselves to be able to put out the next volume, and so that is why we did the campaign on PledgeMusic. Hopefully everybody will get out there and support it and show the industry that there is still a market for these old-school DVD videos.

A remarkable thing about Dimevision is that while Darrell is often partying, it never comes across as being sad or that he has a drinking problem…

Rita Haney: When people just see that footage, they don’t that you know we might have been sitting at home for two weeks, six weeks, nine weeks and not even go out and have a cocktail, you know? All the fans would ever seen of him is when he is on the road and has drinks every night. They don’t realize that when he comes off the road like the song “Whiskey Road” says, he would hit me up and go, “Man, it’s been a long tour I am ready to come home and check into the Rita Ford Clinic.” I am like, “Well, come on, bring it, you know I am ready for you.” He also knew when he needed a break and took care of himself, too.

For you, is there an ideal takeaway from the Dimevision videos? Something you want people to come away thinking?

Rita Haney: It gives a place, a platform, for stuff that he did. You know he loved music, even if there was a song he didn’t care for he still found a way to have fun with it or enjoy it or make a parody of it. Music was his salvation, whether it was a day off in his hotel room or setting up in the back of the bar or just at home. Something serious, something heavy, something funny, you know? He always wrote a song about it. We wouldn’t be able to use that in the Pantera home videos… So it gives us a place to get to share these things and also for people to see that that person you saw on-stage and the antics you saw him out on the road doing, that is just how he lives. It wasn’t a stage persona, that was Darrell 24/7, so you would see this even just at home when he is you know making a mailbox for friends for Christmas or taking our lawn guy to go get a pedicure.

He is, I guess, the epitome of what a true reality TV star should be. He didn’t have to have anybody script it or writing a moment in his life to be exciting. He just saw that himself, which is why we dub that Dimevision… He just saw the beauty in everything, even the simplest of stuff. He was always about laughing and having fun, just get through the day.

A recurring theme of Volume 2 is Gene Simmons. Can you tell me more about that?

Rita Haney: That is actually something that you will see in the photobook, the deluxe edition that we have. There are a couple of photos where Gene is playing bass on the stage with band, and there is a really good shot that captured here in L.A. where it is just Darrell and Gene face to face. Of course Pantera opened for KISS in Mexico, and when everything happened [regarding Abbott’s death], Gene had Paul go over to his house and gave his personal KISS Koffin and had it shipped down to us. They had never manufactured them at that time and he had just the one that was the sample, and he donated that to us for Darrell.

Darrell had a nickname for our bed, because we had one of those Simmons Beauty Rest mattresses, but he called it the Gene Simmons Beauty Rest. So like whenever the bus would come to the house and we would be packing it up for tour, I would always buy a piece of the memory foam. I would cut it and I would put it in his bunk so that it would be the Mini Gene Simmons Beauty Rest. He would say, “Dude I can’t wait to get home to the Gene” — that was our bed.

Darrell seemed to have a lot of nicknames for things. Was that the case?

Rita Haney: That is why I put in like a little glossary of some of the terms to explain, because he just had his own language, “Dimebonics.” For example, we had gone to see David Allen Coe at the Fairgrounds in Dallas one night, and then after that we were going down to an area called Deep Ellum that is in Dallas. We were sitting on the bus and we were going to go check out this band and David was sitting across from us. He is a little hard of hearing after all these years…

Darrell goes, “Hey dude, so we are going to go down to Deep Ellum and check out this band. You want to go?” David was like, “What? We’re going bowling?” and he had this terrified look on his face. I am like, “No, he said Deep Ellum.” From then on if he was sitting there watching TV and I was making food and I am like, “Hey, you want to go have some food?” If he didn’t hear me or if I asked too many questions and he was just focused on his program he would go, “Going bowling?” I knew that meant, “I didn’t hear you, repeat yourself.” Eventually it just got toned down to “Bowling?” if he needed me to repeat something, and he would just say that to me.

Besides promoting Dimevision Volume 2, is there anything that you are working on that you could talk about?

Rita Haney: Actually, we have already started moving ahead on Pantera IV, so hopefully that gets to see the light of day next year and I am excited about it. It is got some pretty good jewels and some funny s**t on it.

So pretty much Pantera and Darrell’s legacy occupies your time? There aren’t any other projects that you work on?

Rita Haney: I had some medical issues the past couple years that I have really had to focus on, so that kept me from really doing anything else. I finally got back into the swing of things as far as Darrell’s legacy, and I am lucky enough that he gave me an amazing life while he was here and he still does. I get that freedom to focus on everything and I love having that honor to get to do these projects and things, so that is what my focus is at the moment.

In closing, Rita, any last words for the kids?

Rita Haney: Get out and support, man. Go over to PledgeMusic. I am about to load that jewel up with a bunch of Darrell’s like t-shirts and stuff out of his closet and hats and things like that you can have a piece of. They are really nicely packaged, they will have a certificate of authenticity. They will also have photos of Darrell actually wearing the clothes and we see him perform on-stage and have a lot of props from the videos that we will have up there, too. All of the proceeds will go towards to the next volume [of Dimevision] and getting those out there to everybody.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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