Dimebag Darrell’s former guitar technician, Grady Champion, shared a statement on his Instagram account about the upcoming Pantera Reunion tour and addressed the gear Zakk Wylde would use during the shows.

As one of the most iconic heavy metal bands that improved the groove metal subgenre, Pantera had a significant impact on the metal scene. However, in 2003, the Abbott brothers, Dimebag Darrell and Vinne Paul, announced that Pantera would disband because of Anselmo’s heroin addiction.

A year after their breakup, Pantera’s famous guitarist Dimebag Darrell was murdered by an obsessive fan at a concert for Damageplan, Darrell and Paul’s new musical project after Pantera. Three years after his brother’s death, Vinnie Paul decided to continue his music career with Hellyeah until his passing in 2018.

As for the other members of Pantera, the vocalist, Phil Anselmo, and the bassist, Rex Brown, have remained on the music scene with their solo performances and guest appearances on other albums. Last month, they announced an exciting reunion. For the first time in 20 years since the band’s breakup, Pantera will be reuniting for a tour in 2023 and will collaborate with famous names like former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante.

Excited about this collaboration, Benante said he would try to sound like Vinnie Paul during the performances. As for Wylde, he will be replacing Dimebag and is quite emotional about his role in this celebration of the deceased band members. While the dates of the highly anticipated tour approach, Dimebag Darrell’s longtime guitar tech Grady Champion shared an Instagram post to announce that Zakk Wylde will use Darrell’s gear during the collaboration.

The technician shared his excitement for the tour and said he would do his best to celebrate Dime’s sound at the performance. In the post, Champion expressed his gratitude to Dime, whose belief in him has shaped his life and career, and said that his presence on the technical team of the tour meant a lot to him. He concluded by saying that fans should expect a real Pantera experience.

Here is Grady Champion’s post about the tour:

“Ok. For all the people I’ve ghosted and anyone else who is interested. I’m doing a thing. I signed on for the Pantera tour. Rita Haney has allowed me access to some of Dime’s gear, and I’m bringing it for Zakk. I’m not his tech; he has a badass, longtime one. The plan, for now, is for me to run effects and help bring Dime’s tone to the party. The details of the rig and stuff are still to be worked out yet.

I started with Pantera, and I will end with Pantera. I didn’t know the ‘right’ thing to think, to say, to do. When I saw the headline, like everyone else, I threw up with sweaty palms; my heart was freaking out; I had seen that headline 1000 times in my nightmares.

After it sunk in and I spoke to everyone, I felt like I would be crazy to turn my nose up and say f that. I need to be involved if I am needed; it turns out I am needed, and I’m fkn doing it.

He continued by saying:

“Thanks to my family, Jamie McAfee Champion, Garrett Champion, and Landon Champion, for understanding and letting me do this for me, for the cause, and for my fallen brothers. I wouldn’t be anywhere in life if it hadn’t been for Dime and his belief in me. So I have to represent.

Anyways, not too good with words, but my heart is on the sleeve here. Anyone that brings up ‘money grab’ has no concept of reality. How much does it take for people to do this? More dedication than you’ll ever see, tears, all of it. If you want to hate, don’t go, I don’t want to hear it. If you want to hate, don’t go, I don’t want to hear it. If you want a Pantera experience, this is it. We’re giving it hell, and going to give it all there is to give. Philip, Rex Brown, Zakk, and Charlie Benante are going to bring it.

Stronger than all.”

You can see the photo of Grady Champion on Instagram and also the trailer of the tour that Pantera shared on its official Twitter account below.

Photo Credit: Grady Champion – Instagram