Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of

Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott

4.7 13
by Zac Crain

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The first unauthorized biography of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the revered guitarist of Pantera, who was murdered onstage at the age of thirty-eightSee more details below


The first unauthorized biography of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the revered guitarist of Pantera, who was murdered onstage at the age of thirty-eight

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Bookseller, 3/2/09
“This long-awaited account of a hard rocking life cut short has real cult sleeper potential.”

Booklist, 6/1/09
“Crain describes the career of an accomplished and influential guitarist…Crain’s iteration of the man and his career…is a fitting memorial.”

Texas Monthly, June 2009
“[Crain] captures the essence of the band's virtuoso guitarist, who was revered by musicians and fans alike for his outrageous skills and everyman persona.”

Dallas Morning News Texas Pages blog, 5/30/09
“Chronicle[s] Abbot’s life and career with careful detail and just the right amount of appreciation.”, 5/25/09
“A fast and thoroughly entertaining read—a definite page turner…For fans of Dimebag Darrell, Pantera, and heavy metal in general it's a must. But even if you never banged your head in the moshpit to ‘I'm Broken,’ Dimebag's story, like a good, stiff drink, is one you wont want to put down.”

“[An] excellent biography…Crain pulls off a difficult task. While Black Tooth Grin is essential reading for any fan of ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott or his band, it’s not a ‘meatheads only’ book. It will reach anyone who’s ever heard a killer riff and thought, ‘God, I want to play like that.”

Revolver Magazine, August 2009
“This poetic biography uses vivid prose to illustrate late Pantera shredder Dimebag Darrell’s life…A heartwarming homage to the guitarist’s memory.”
“Tells about the life [Dimebag] led and what might have been.”, 6/14/09
“Tells Dimebag’s story, from his birth in Arlington, Texas to his death on stage in Columbus, Ohio, from Pantera’s glittery late-80s beginnings to their chart-destroying reign as one of Metal’s most unrelenting acts…Sheds new light on that harrowing night in Columbus in 2004…A damn good story.”

Quick, 7/2/09
“A thoroughly researched biography and a fun read.”

“Crain explores with vivid detail the 1981 birth, rise to fame, and ultimate demise of Pantera, as well as the rebirth of the Abbott brothers and rock's bloodiest onstage tragedy…Black Tooth Grin is the long-awaited story of Dimebag Darrell, and a tour de force of American music journalism.”

Quick, 7/2/09
“Crain successfully paints a raw but often reverential picture of Dimebag.”, 7/2/09
“Clearly aimed at the remaining fans of heavy metal in general and of Abbott in particular.”

Dallas News, 7/5/09
Black Tooth Grin is longtime area writer Zac Crain's attempt at telling Abbott's story, and for the most part he succeeds…One thing Crain absolutely nails…—and what is really the heart of Abbott's story—is his open, unpretentious nature.”

Q, July 2009
“A hugely sympathetic portrait, with Abbott’s basic humanity shining through even as his band’s US success brought them into contact with the seedier side of the music industry.”

Trademark of Quality, 6/24/09
“Does a fine job of presenting the genesis of Abbott's lifelong infatuation with the guitar…Crain describes the many bumps in the road and the obstacles overcome by Pantera in becoming, perhaps, the best-known metal outfit during the alt-rock years…Crain is an engaging writer, and Black Tooth Grin is a quick, entertaining read that captures the essence of Dimebag Darrell Abbot.”

Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles
“Not only chronicles, but also celebrates the remarkable achievements and unique experiences that filled Dime’s life…The one-of-a-kind story is lovingly told and accurately recounted…Black Tooth Grin provides a true sense of who Dime was and what it was like to be around him…Unlike the majority of unauthorized biographies that essentially amount to nothing more than a quick cash-grab, this book has been well researched…It’s definitely worth reading.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 7/16/09
“Admirable for its ambition…The depth of sourcing…allows for different insight than the family might provide.”

January, 7/22/09
“Crain seems to hit all the right notes, skillfully blending fact with educated fancy, filling in the blanks and also imagining the what-might have beens and the nearly-weres. Metal fans will, of course, find Black Tooth Grin to be a must-read but even those who had only barely heard of Abbott will find Crain’s book compelling. It’s a portrait of the music industry exactly as you always suspected it was… and yet entirely different. Fascinating.”

Blurt, Fall 2009
“A vivid portrait of Dimebag, written in a style that suits his rep as a big-hearted hell-raiser…The upshot is we get to know and like Dimebag all over again, intimately as a close friend.”

Salt Lake Under Ground, August 2009
“It may be a cliché, but the introduction alone will leave any reader, regardless of musical orientation, breathless. The rest of the biography only improves from there…This book is required reading for metal heads and highly recommended for anybody interested in music.”

MNS Music’s Headbang blog, 8/10/09
“A terrific first book…A complete biography, detailing not only Abbott's childhood as one of two sons of a Texas recording engineer, and Pantera's early years, but every step of the group's rise to prominence in the early 1990s and ultimate, bitter dissolution…A quick, easy read…A very welcome addition to any metalhead's library. By all means check it out.”

GuitarNoize,com, 11/23/09
“An unauthorized biography of the Arlington, Texas shredder…This is a fascinating insight into the life and death of Darrell Abbott and one that I highly recommend.”

DC Metal Music, 12/8/09
“The book gives a different angle on Abbott and the band that brought him to fame…What is most interesting about this book are the moments when the focus is put on those who helped the band early on…The tone is conversational and filled with humorous anecdotes and metaphors making it enjoyable…Black Tooth Grin does provide an excellent way to remember a star in the metal world that left an eternal audience to soon.”

Premier Guitar, 12/8/09
“Provides a well-rounded, introspective look into Abbott’s world as music fan, guitarist, party ambassador and mama’s boy.”

Publishers Weekly

Darrell Abbott, known to fans of rock band Pantera as "Dimebag Darrell," was shot to death by a deranged fan while playing a show in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004. This horrific event, recounted in nightmarish detail and replete with gratuitous comparisons to September 11, bookends Crain's reverential but superficial chronicle of the highly regarded heavy-metal guitarist's career. As narrated by Crain, Dallas Observer music editor, Darrell is a hard-drinking mama's boy who, growing up in Arlington, Tex., refined his guitar chops by walling himself up in his room for hours instead of going to high school. With his brother, Vince, and other neighborhood musicians, Darrell formed the band Pantera. Under the influence of Metallica and with the addition of a rough-edged singer named Phil Anselmo, the band evolved into a major force on the metal scene with its original blend of technical skill and Southern attitude. Pantera achieved massive success in the '90s with the release of a few albums, including the "heaviest album to hit No. 1 on the charts," Far Beyond Driven, and toured the world. Crain dutifully recounts the addictions and intra-band squabbling that inevitably shadow rock success, but the cheerful strangeness and decency of "Dimebag," perhaps best exemplified by his collaboration with the eccentric country musician David Allen Coe, manages to shine through, even in the darker corners of the narrative. (July)

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Da Capo Press
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5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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