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Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story of Pantera Hardcover – March 12, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 247 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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.”

RidgewoodPatch.com 3/11
 “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
“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.”

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
“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
“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
“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.”

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
“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
“The pages of this book will flip fast and when you get to the end you just wish there was more…As you read this book, I DARE you not to think you’re sitting right across from the guy sharing each moment…Rex tells the story from his side of the stage and his seat in the bus with dignity and no machismo or chest beating on how great they were…This is the first autobiography I’ve read truly deserving of 6 out of 5 stars! Yeah it goes one higher than all other ratings.”

BlueCoupe.com, 9/26/13
“Official Truth is a proper rock biography, but it’s not for the faint of heart…If you ever thought the world of a rock god was sexy and golden, read Official Truth and think again.”

KNAC.com, 12/7/13
“Plenty of rock 'n roll outlaw behavior is documented in great detail and serves to remind us that Pantera played as hard as they worked…With one former band member no longer able to speak for either himself or the band while the other two bandmates remaining on non-speaking terms for the past 9 years with little possibility of reconciliation, Rex Brown, with his sharp memory, honesty, humor, humility, candor and grace, appears as the best spokesperson to document Pantera's history in such a clear manner.”

About the Author

Rex Brown was born in 1964 in Graham, Texas. He joined Pantera in 1982. He has also played with Down and Kill Devil Hill.

Mark Eglinton is a Scottish author, based mostly in the U.S. As well as being a friend of Rex Brown's having spent time on tour with Down in 2010, he's the author of James Hetfield: The Wolf At Metallica’s Door (IMP, 2010) as well as being a frequent and highly acclaimed contributor to The Quietus – a popular culture website voted Best Website by Record Of The Day as well as being hailed by multiple publications including The Guardian, The Times, The New York Times, and Chicago Time Out.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1St Edition edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306821370
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306821370
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Oliverio Casas on April 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure first: Pantera is easily one of my Top 5 favorite bands of all time, and from the early to mid-nineties it provided me with the perfect soundtrack for dealing with frustration and proudly waving the metal flag at a time where most of my beloved 80s idols either wussed out or disappeared from the face of the Earth... what I'm trying to say here is that since Pantera is a huge deal for me, in theory, I should love this book, and that's what makes me so uncomfortable, because I don't, and I find it very disappointing.
Some reviewers have pointed out that the main flaw in this book comes from the fact that we're reading one member's point of view, but I don't find that especially bothersome.
Most Pantera fans (me included) consider that the band's early break up was a consequence of Phil Anselmo's drug problems, personality issues and side projects. While Rex doesn't outright contradict that position, he seems to give Vinnie Paul's difficult personality and the accumulated grind of more than a decade of endless touring a much more prominent role on the band's demise. Obviously, it would be incredibly stupid for me to contend Rex's version since I wasn't there, but he does go out of his way to make Vinnie Paul look bad at every possible opportunity, which can be the result of both sour grapes and unresolved issues between those two.
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Format: Hardcover
"You've seen the movie Some Kind Of Monster? What happened to METALLICA was not dissimilar to what happened in PANTERA," explains bassist Rex Brown in his new book. The 260-page hardcover was co-authored with Mark Eglinton (who wrote James Hetfield: The Wolf At Metallica's Door), and features a forward by Dug Pinnick of KING'S X. Also contributing passages throughout are: Rex's sister, original Pantera singer Terry Glaze, the late Dimebag Darrell's girlfriend Rita Haney, former managers Walter O'Brien, Guy Sykes and Kim Zide Davis, as well as producer Terry Date, among others. This all-encompassing memoir begins with Rex's childhood, in which he had grade nine algebra class with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, and was selling drugs out of the Fotomat kiosk at age 17; a self-described "hoodlum." Pantera released their debut, Metal Magic, in 1983, and when Rex looks back at that period in time, he comes across rather cocky: "I didn't really need to practice. The only reason I was there was for everyone else's benefit." The extent to which Rex speaks disparagingly of the Abbott brothers is rather upsetting: "Vinnie was... a complete liability." "Dime wasn't the most intelligent of guys." "Vinnie didn't have any kind of style or sense of class, none whatsoever." "Dime pissed me off so many times I can't even count." "It was so awkward watching Vinnie's pathetic attempts to get laid." And that's just a small example of the barbs constantly being thrown. Vocalist Phil Anselmo is not immune to the mudslinging either: "Phil is 20% brilliance / 80% nonsense." That being said, there is a particularly hilarious story of Rex trying to teach Vinnie and Phil how to ski in the Swiss Alps. Rex also fesses up about his substance abuse: "The problem with weed is that it really (messes) with your whiskey drinking.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I approached the book with a great deal of preconceived notions about it – after reading reviews here and at other places. Most people's problem with 'Official Truth, 101 Proof' seems to be how one-sided the book is and how Rex seems to portray himself as a total badass – or the only cool/mature dude in the band... And well... This is pretty much true. But it is also pretty much the disclaimer – Rex' side of the Pantera story, the way he saw it and the way he felt about it. And he does make that clear pretty early on as well. So once you approach it with this mindset, it is just a good rock biography about a great band and what went down with it behind the curtains. And obviously the things that happened between the members of Pantera are far less inspiring or great than the music they recorded together... but this is hardly Rex' fault, isn't it? I do recommend the book to all Pantera fans.
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I really loved every bit of this book, and am thrilled Rex wrote it. I was (and still am) a huge Pantera fan. Dime was the first "famous" person I ever met, when I was 17 years old and honestly the nicest dude, kind to all. I had the pleasure of being lucky enough to meet the band (minus Phil) several times over the years, and the things Rex recalled rang 100% true to what I witnessed as a fan and a lucky bystander sometimes.

I loved reading about their tour with Skid Row and how they used that opportunity to win fans over - that's honestly how I heard them in the first place, when I saw them open for Skid Row. I was totally enthralled and what they brought to metal was so different. Heavy, yet melodic.

One time when I met Rex he was so trashed he was swaying on his feet. Some girl came up to him and popped her boob out of her shirt and asked him to sign it, and drunk as he was he managed to slur "my wife probably wouldn't be happy about that, but I'll sign your ticket for you." That really impressed me, honestly, and I really saw him as the stand up guy and the gentleman of the group. I don't think the way he presented himself in the book was anything but the truth. Very bummed to read his marriage didn't work, however.

Also, I had to laugh about the parts about watching Vinnie try to get laid, because one time he came on to me super heavily and told his "bodyguard", "give her my pager number (remember, this was the 90s)," like he was some sort of badass stud. Embarrassing. I can't imagine night after night of the guys having to watch him try to score, once was enough for me. Haha.

I was never "in" with the band, just lucky enough to meet them multiple times, as they were so accessible and kind to their fans.
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