Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo’s life has always been full of crazy moments because of his controversial acts and statements. Even though both his fans and former bandmates were used to these moments, as he was even announced dead for five minutes due to a heroin overdose, they still couldn’t tolerate the infamous incident in Dimebash.
2016’s Dimebash was a tribute to the band’s late guitarist Dimebag Darrell who was killed by a psychologically unstable fan named Nathan Gale on December 8, 2004. All members of Pantera, Gary Holt, Robb Flynn, Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo performed in honor of Darrell but the way Anselmo’s ended the show caused a serious backlash.
Phil Anselmo Faced A Serious Backlash After A Nazi Salute
Phil Anselmo finished his performance in 2016’s Dimebash with a Nazi salute and yelling ‘white power.’ The audience reacted to this controversial move by booing and recording the moment with their phones. Even his friends couldn’t believe their eyes and thought that it was a hallucination caused by consuming too much alcohol.
Pig Destroyer bassist John Jarvis said in an interview that:
“I remember driving home and being like, ‘How could this not be a news story yet? Well, maybe it didn’t happen. Maybe I was just wasted.’“
After the video was shared on almost every social media platform, Phil Anselmo shared a video to explain why he used a Nazi salute during Dimebash. In the video, he stated that he didn’t mean to harm anyone and apologized to everyone he offended.
Anselmo apologized in a video saying:
“It was ugly, it was uncalled for, and anyone who knows me and my true nature knows that I don’t believe in any of that… I am a thousand percent apologetic to anyone that took offense to what I said because you should have taken offense to what I said. I am so sorry, and I hope you… just give me another chance. I love all of you… Bless you.”
Later he added:
“First and foremost, I do take full accountability. I’m not deflecting at all. What I did was insulting, absolutely, and abhorrent, because it did truly upset people, and it hurts my heart that anyone would think that I’m the dreaded ‘R’ word—a racist. Anyone who truly knows me knows that it’s utterly ridiculous. But if I did offend my Jewish friends, people I work with, my associates, other people in bands… if I were to upset people in that particular way—that’s why I apologized. That apology is there—and no, you won’t get another one ever again.”
However, his apology didn’t end the accusations and both his fans and other musicians called out Anselmo for being a racist in their interviews and social media posts. Anselmo defended himself saying that he is the last person who can be a racist but admitted that what he did was wrong. So, some people accepted his apology while others kept believing that he did it on purpose.
You can watch the video below.