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Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera

Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera

4.3 14
by Rex Brown

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Few heavy metal acts survived the turmoil of the early 1990s music scene. Pantera, featuring the peerless guitar playing of the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was different. Instead of humoring the market, the band demanded that the audience come to them by releasing a series of fiercely uncompromising platinum albums, including Vulgar Display of Power and


Few heavy metal acts survived the turmoil of the early 1990s music scene. Pantera, featuring the peerless guitar playing of the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was different. Instead of humoring the market, the band demanded that the audience come to them by releasing a series of fiercely uncompromising platinum albums, including Vulgar Display of Power and Far Beyond Driven—albums that sold millions of copies despite minimal airplay.

This is the previously untold story behind one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history, written by the man best qualified to tell the truth about those incredible and often difficult years of fame, excess, and tragedy.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
AOL Music's Noisecreep.com, 3/6/13

“A warts and all look at Brown's journey from small town Texas music geek to platinum-selling, arena-filling rock star. Besides the insightful, and always colorful, Pantera stories included throughout Official Truth, Brown also comes clean about his own personal battles with drugs and alcohol.”

SkullsNBones.com, 3/6/13

“Rex is completely honest and forthcoming in this book, and it's a major insight to one of the most influential bands of all time…A must read!”

The Aquarian, 3/13

“Offers the shocking insight into one of the most influential and extremely popular metal bands to ever reach the annals of heavy metal history!... Fans of Pantera and Rex Brown will love this book!”

BackstageAxxess.com, 3/10:

“Rex's story is both honest and brutally real…Rockstars are often put on a pedestal and made to seem larger than life. Rex Brown gives us the other side of the story. His heartfelt account tells us the good, the bad, and the ugly, making Official Truth, 101 Proof much more than just a book about a rock band. It is a tale of friendships made and friendships lost and the triumphs and tragedies along the way. Dust off your bookshelf and clear some space. You're going to want to add this one to your collection.”


Loudwire.com, 3/21/13

“An unflinchingly honest look at the group, from their earliest beginnings to the ending moments and the things which have happened since then…The first official statement on Pantera and the legacy of the group from a band member.”

NoTreble.com, 3/21/13

“Describing the book as ‘starkly honest' almost seems like an understatement as Brown details his ride with anecdotes on events and the characters involved in the band's story.”

MediaMikes.com, 3/18/13

“A gritty in your face tale from the man who lived it…Here is your chance to get whole truth and nothing but…Candid, brutally honest, and at times shocking Rex Brown touches on everything and pulls no punches while doing so…From start to finish a great read.”

North Coast Voice, 3/20/13-4/3/13 issue and The Cleveland Sound, 3/21/13

“A candid, unpretentious autobiography from one of rock's modern day survivors—a southern-fried, fist-pumpingly fun read.”

Alternative Control blog, 3/22/13

“A great read about one of the best metal bands of all time.”

Houston Press, 3/29/13

“A tell-all history of the band…The most comprehensive insider account of Pantera's rise and fall.”

BackstageAxxess.com, 3/24/13

Record Collector (UK), Issue 414

“Brown recounts his life in parallel to Pantera's story, exploring his addiction to alcohol in courageous detail and pulling no punches when it comes to explaining the band's split and its tragic aftermath. He ascribes the various fallings-out to each of the personalities involved, without leaving anyone (including himself) blameless. Kudos to the guy for digging deep into a set of obviously painful memories to get this book done, and to his co-writer Mark Eglinton for focusing Brown's recollections into an eminently readable memoir.”

Decibel, June 2013

“Revealing…Brown deftly explains why Pantera's music works…This book won't interest the casual Pantera fan. But are there any casual Pantera fans?”

Metal Forces, March 2013

“Official Truth, 101 Proof sugarcoats nothing.”

John Shelton Ivany Top 21

“Definitive…This is a lucid account of the previously untold story behind one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history, written by the man best qualified to tell the truth about those incredible and often difficult years of fame and excess.”

WomanAroundTown.com, 5/28/13

“A book detailing the highs and lows of super-stardom.”

Curled Up With A Good Book

 “A compelling read.”

SonicExcess.com, 3/12:

“Offers a perspective from the eyes of the silent member of Pantera. Often humorous, tragic, brutally honest, and always entertaining…A must read for any fan of Rock, Metal, and Pantera…Official Truth is similar to the music of Pantera, no compromise with no room for bullshit.”

SkullsNBones.com, 3/12

Rex holds nothing back and really invites you into his Pantera world like never before…Now with this new book, we understand a little more about one of the most historic bands to ever walk this planet…A very blunt and honest read that will definitely get people talking in the metal scene…A must read for all metal fans.”

Examiner.com, 3/12

“Will appeal not just to fans of Pantera and heavy metal, but anyone interested in a look at that time in music.”

Horns Up Rocks, 3/12:

“[A] very honest piece of literature…Not only is it a great read, but it will open your eyes about how the music industry works.”

TheGauntlet.com, 3/13

“The journey of the rise and fall of one of the biggest bands in heavy metal history…An honest account of what transpired during [Brown's] years in Pantera.”

Rich Stambolian, 3/15

“Rex Brown has long since taken the ‘voice of reason' mantle in the ever-fracturing post-Pantera camp. Though he's the group's least public member, he's the most fit to write a memoir on the experience. Brown pulls no punches in his yarn, nonchalantly discussing the spandex-clad inception, multiplatinum explosion and untimely demise of the ‘90s' most definitive metal band. Most compelling are his unflinching looks into the band members' individual demons, which never come off as antagonistic or gossipy, but genuine attempts at ‘telling it like it is'…As the murder of one Dimebag Darrell becomes more and more distant, no other publication has come this close to truly exploring the impact and meaning of what this band meant to the heavy metal landscape, and for that, Brown's work shouldn't go unnoticed, and is highly recommended.”

PowerlineMag.com, 4/27/13

“Pantera's fans will enjoy this up close and personal look at the band, especially those interested in hearing how the band's classic records came together.”

Examiner.com, 4/30/13

“If you are looking for dirt or something shocking, its all there as Rex didn't pull any punches and told it how it was including the bad times as well. If you are a fan of Pantera or if you just like a good biography I recommend this book because it will not disappoint.”

“Offers a very inside look at the band that we were never afforded the opportunity to voyeur into back in the day…Straight up, if you're a Pantera fan then read the book, you'll enjoy it…A satisfying read. As a fan of Pantera I couldn't put the flippin' thing down.”

Bass Guitar magazine, May 2013

“Rock star autobiographies are everywhere these days, some of them great, some less so. Official Truth, 101 Proof…falls easily into the former category. Brown…waited years to tell his tale, but the wait has been worth it…Official Truth recounts the formation and rise to prominence of Pantera, as well as the stories of Brown's later bands Down and Kill Devil Hill, with unflinching courage, offering a new perspective on the chaos within those bands.”

SLUG (Salt Lake Under Ground) magazine, May 2013

“No one was closer to the heart of the band than Brown. He was there from the beginning and relates the ups and downs with an unabashed honesty…A book about one of the most original metal bands ever.”

Illinois Entertainer, 7/1/13

“[A] tell-all.”

Soho Tribune, 6/22/13

“A poignant and heartfelt account of life in a monstrous heavy metal band…Read the book. It's like finally getting the quiet kid in class to open up.”

GhostCultMag.com, 7/12/13

“The book has an easy-going style, and doesn't seem to be ghost-written like so many other tomes of this sort...If you are a fan of Pantera or ‘90s metal in general, this book is essential reading.”

Metal Hammer

“A no-holds-barred insight into the mind of someone who became known as ‘the drunk guy in Pantera,' which is some feat.”

Hard Rockin' Homemaker, 7/29/2013

“A notable and refreshing change from the vast majority of other memoirs I've read.”

MetalKaoz.com, 9/7/13

“I enjoyed every page of Official Truth, 101 Proof and learned a ton of stuff about this band.”

HeavyMetalICU.com, 9/9/13

“Gives you insight to the real world of Pantera and makes no qualms about it…An extremely honest look at the behind the scenes of one of the biggest bands of all time. [Brown] pokes a few holes into the fabric of our perception of band life and what being a rock star is all about…If you are a fan of Pantera and road stories then you should definitely pick this book up. It will make you laugh, choke you up, and blow your mind with the reality of what some of your favorite personalities are really like.”

MTVHive.com, 3/18/13

“Wildly entertaining.”

Boston Phoenix, 3/20/13

“'No holds barred' and 'warts and all' are typical qualifiers when it comes to rock-and-roll memoirs, but rarely do they fulfill the promise. Which makes it all the more refreshing when something like Official Truth, 101 Proof comes along. Pleasantries are dispensed sparingly in this unflinching, and often biting, but also affectionate portrait.”

Dallas Observer, 3/18/13

“Rex takes readers into the familiar world of the Rock Star, where rivers of whiskey flow like cash pouring into the band members' bank accounts…Rex's memoir delivers to fans what the bassist intended: a behind the scenes look at the events that led to the downfall of one of America's greatest rock bands. It's full of conflict, raw emotion and backstage antics.”

“Brown gives us the inside story in his new book…It's a great read.”

FullMetalRock.com, 3/24/13

“This is the real deal inside story, from the man himself, who was there and lived it…A no holds barred account of the rise and fall of Pantera…It is all covered here straight up…A must read for any fan of Pantera or Rock and Metal.”

Every Day is a New Day blog, 3/28/13

“The story of one of the craziest party bands of all time…This book was an eye opener…If you've ever been into Metal music, I'd say this is required reading.”

The Metal Den, 4/8/13

“Hands down the most brutally frank rock memoir you will ever read in your life…This is a cautionary tale (beware of the ‘hangers on') that will make you laugh out loud and wipe away a few tears at the same time.”

About.com Heavy Metal

“Brown pulls no punches in the book…The behind the scenes story of Pantera is fascinating…There have been a lot of books written about Pantera, but Brown provides insight an outside author simply can't…It's a very well-written and compelling book.”

Music As Therapy blog, 4/14/13

Product Details

Da Capo Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Rex Brown was born in 1964 in Graham, Texas. He joined Pantera in 1982 and has also played with Down. His new band, Kill Devil Hill, is climbing the charts.

Mark Eglinton is the author of James Hetfield: The Wolf At Metallica's Door. He divides his time between Scotland and the Pacific Northwest.

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Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
WrittenWordLoverForLife More than 1 year ago
Rex is very open about the issues that led to Pantera split as well as his own foibles and general pitfalls of the music industry that most other rock memoirs have chosen to ignore. This book has made me laugh, my jaw drop in surprise and my eyes roll in an oh-no-they-didn't way. It is truly a book for ANYONE interested in a good memoir about an interesting life in general. This is NOT just for Pantera fans! I wasn't at all familiar with the band prior to this book. This is an entertaining, balanced and solid book with stories that have stayed with me in my mind well after reading the final page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'd lost track of heavy music but was always a Pantera fan back in the day, so when I saw this was coming out I ordered one straightway and read it in a day. Well, I was shocked by how it all went down and the book is really a good lesson to the younger folks about how fame and fortune can actually be a curse. Honestly told and in a no nonsense style that I'd expect from Rex, this is a game-changer in that it does not in any way sugar-coat this business. Actually the opposite. Going to read it again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im moveing this to life of remen)) The ambulance sirens where the first thing he herd. It rounded a cornner with a fire truck and 3 police cars chaseing it. The ambulance stoped at the side of the curb. Malissa was passed out and remen held her head in his lap hoping she wasnt dead. Three men put her on a strecher and put Malissa's fragle body on the ambulance bed. He sat there all the tears drained from his eyes he just stared at his sisters going gray lips and her empty eyes looking straght at him. Remen watched the doctors hooking her up to mchines and pooking needles on her. A lady and a young looking man came up to him. "Hey sweety im carmen. Mrs. Carmen and we have some questions for you." Mrs. Carmen said. He looked up to her and asked in a shakey voice. "Is my sister dead?" His hole body shook. Remen put his face in his shaking hands. Mrs. Carmen came to his side and sat on the curb. She started to rub his back. "Hey she is all right. Can you tell me what happened?" He explaned everything. From whene Malissa let him yose the purple and pink jacket to whene he called 911. The young man wrot everything down. Mrs. Carmen pulled him in for a hug whene he started to bawl after spilling it all. She murmered conforting things. But whene his mom and dad showed up he was scared for his life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a diehard Pantera fan I was really excited to read this when I heard about it. I even broke from tradition in reading reviews before reading the book, so I knew what to expect before picking it up. However, this book lacks in many ways and leaves any fan of the band feeling very disappointed. As only one of three people in the world (along with Phil and Vinnie) with the credibility to write from a first person point of view about one of the greatest metal bands of all time, pioneers in music in general, this is an incomplete, lacking, negative, and rushed story with many gaping holes aching to be filled in with more substantial content. With a band as big as Pantera there are countless escapades and stories to tell! This book should be twice as long with more interesting and captivating material (see "Slash", "Motley Crue: The Dirt", and Keith Richards' autobiography for reference). I did like the input from those close to the band like Rita Haney, Terry Glaze, Walter O'Brien, etc, but I also found that some of the writing didn't flow well. All in all, I appreciate the insight into some of what I didn't know about the breakup of Pantera, but this missed a great opportunity to be the tell all book for these rock gods. Let's hope Phil and/or Vinnie make it happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You an your people did an awsome job with your book! Very much enjoyed it,maybe one day i will get the chance to get one signed! 100% Awsome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What I just said.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read a number of reviews about this book on various sites and sense that the poor ones are motivated from personal angles ie those who don't like Rex's standpoint in the complex Pantera situation. The truth is that, regardless of your personal opinion of the man, nobody could fault the way he approached his memoir. It's honest, abrasive ( like their music) and  spares nobody some well-deserved criticism ( including himself. Worth remembering too is the fact that these guys were teenagers when Pantera started and are now middle-aged men with more than average miles on the clock. Time has given Rex some great perspective not only on his band but on life in general and that shines throughout. Dimebag's death is handled sensitively and with raw emotion, as you'd expect. The rest you'll need to read for yourself. This is the gold standard of unapologetic, non-airbrushed rock memoirs and should be embraced accordingly. Who knew Rex could write a great book like this.  Beware the quiet one indeed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honest book with stories that reflect the good and bad of the band.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Rex, for realizing Pantera fans have their own unanswered "why", too. The book is great ("rife" with what??), it's an easy read, and I'd recommend it to any metal fan. As to getting the "behind the scenes" scoop on the "breakup" of Pantera, it's more than we fans could piece together thus far. And it's honest. Rita and the other contributors are honest, too, even if the answer to the question is really everything... and nothing. R.I.P. Dime, we love you...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best rock memoir I've read in a very long time. On a par with 'Scar Tissue' and 'Life' but from a very different perspective. A MUST for all music fans as you won't hear many artists being quite this honest about the industry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, surprisingly, as I was never huge into Pantera or any of the other bands Rex was in. I DO like Kill Devil Hill and will now go back and listen to some Pantera and Down. Not only did I enjoy the flow and the style of this book, I especially liked the input from other people like Rex' sister, Cheryl, Terry Glaze, Walter O'Brien, Rita Haney and Phil Anselmo's gf. Their stories gave so much color and interest to the overall book. It is a bit of a family love story with all the typical bickering and the love and the frustrations that come from being together so much and for so long and sadly, the non-communication that happens and sometimes doesn't get resolved in time. There are many nuances to this book that made it enjoyable on so many levels. My heart hurt for Rex and for Vinnie and Rita over the tragic loss of Dimebag, who seemed as though would be that guy everyone would want to be friends with and not because he was a big rock star. Lots of fun stuff in there, too. Good balance, nothing sappy or fake in there. I agree with other reviews that this is a book for anyone who wants to read a good true story from one man's perspective.
Reverend_Lucas More than 1 year ago
As a once avid Pantera fan and a bassist, I really wanted to like this book.  I was hoping it would deliver some insight into the minds of the band, or at least tell an interesting story.  I suppose it was in a way insightful - in revealing Pantera as arrogant, childlike simpletons who set the bar as far as rock band cliches go. Rex's attempts to show that he is more than a stereotypical metal guy ironically just sort of confirm that he isn't.  The writing in this book is poor and rife with grammatical/punctual errors. Die hard Pantera fans might want to consider reading this book, but I don't see much reason for others to pick it up.