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Black Tooth Grin: The High Life, Good Times, and Tragic End of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott Paperback – June 2, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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“This long-awaited account of a hard rocking life cut short has real cult sleeper potential.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Crain successfully paints a raw but often reverential picture of Dimebag.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 Examiner.com, 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.”
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Whilst the book is unauthorised, Crain does a credible job of telling Dimebag's story. I would have liked more details about Darrell and Vinnie's strained relationship with their father and also the romance between Rita and Darrell.
I would recommend this book to any fan looking for a quick and entertaining read.
The only thing that really disappointed and angered me was the aftermath of the shooting. On top of the loss of Dimebag, I cannot believe how several people who were at the Alrosa Villa that night later started legal proceedings against the club owners. I will never understand why the US has such a culture involving everyone suing each other and laying blame for what was clearly a sad and freak occurance.
An accomplished writer about the music scene, Crain knows the lingo and understands what is important to his readers, those devoted to "Dimebag," his band Pantera and the final iteration of that band, Damageplan. Fans who clamor for information on Abbott the man, his character, musical influences (though, of course devotees know about his affinity for KISS and Van Halen) and his associations with other musicians will find a wealth of information in these pages. Crain has talked with former band members and those in the media, such as Juliya Chernetsky, host of the FUSE network's metal show to provide a full picture of "Dimebag" the generous guy, the partier, the musician.
Black Tooth Grin, named after the whisky and cola shot drink "Dimebag" loved to down, and pour for others, gives the reader a thoughtful look at Abbott's beginnings in Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Dallas and his development as a skilled guitarist with an instantly recognizable sound to his morphing into a business person of sorts. Crain never merely chronicles "Dimebag's" life and career.
Perhaps more importantly and impressively, Crain draws conclusions and suggests causes and effects but never at the expense of the facts. In other words, Crain does not marshal or manipulate mention of incidents in Abbott's life to support his own theories of the whats and whys of "Dimebag's" success, failure, even of his murder. That is exactly what we want in a biographer.Read more ›
The rest of the book chronicles the rise of Dime/Pantera into the realm of Metal Gods. A couple of thing stood out. Dime was such a gifted player, a veteran of the club circuit at the ripe age of 17, obliterating his competition, some which were years older than him. Second it shows just how honest, unassuming and sincere Dime was in life. Not to mention how down to earth, he and Vinny lived with their mom well after Pantera became a national act, and one of their first acts of generosity was to make sure SHE was taken care of. Vinny and Dime were the perfect Yin/Yang. Dime represented the good time rock and roll, Vinny was the heady business type with very underrated savvy in a cutthroat business.
A great deal of time is spent on the typical 'backstage' antics, but a lot of time is spent on the evolution of the band from a hair metal outfit to the bludgeoning juggernaut that Pantera became,all through it, we get glimpses of Dime's humanity through touching annecdotes that remind us just how special he was as a human being. Dime loved to party, but it never interferred with his true love: guitar shredding, and this theme is repeated throughout the book.
My only criticism was that I would have liked a little more perspective from the "outcast" Phil Anselmo, his take, his thoughts etc...but then the book is about DIME, really, and it's a minor criticism....well worth a read!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome in depth story of Dimebag that tells tales from all parts of his life. A great read for any metal fan and a must read for any Darrell Abbott enthusiast. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Randy Colton
Such a gread book. easy to read and kept you interested. made you feel like you really knew Dime and like you were there his last night. Read morePublished 4 months ago by imamanda369
Completely an awesome book you'll be happy one minute ready to party the second then cry like a little cry but definetly a must buyPublished 12 months ago by Shahn Basford