PANTERA bassist Rex Brown talks the Abbott Brothers in new chat with Gibson TV
Gibson TV, the iconic, American-made guitar maker’s first-ever, award-winning, worldwide online network, has released a trailer for the next episode of “Icons“, a longform interview series featuring some of the most iconic artists, producers and music business pioneers in the world. In the next episode of “Icons“, PANTERA bassist Rex Brown sits down to discuss his childhood years in Texas, the band’s formation and the legacy of the hardest-hitting metal group from the Lone Star State.
“I knew about those boys,” Rex says in the trailer, referencing PANTERA‘s founding members, guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. “I lived really close to them. Their middle school was, like, a mile and a half away. The summer of ’81, [Dime] went into his bedroom with [OZZY OSBOURNE‘s] ‘Diary Of A Madman‘ and probably the VAN HALEN collection, and Dime comes out this protégé dude that, I’d never heard anything like it. When he came out of that room, it just inspired me to just… ‘Oh, my God. I’ve gotta keep up with this guy.’ That was the choice I had to make. And it was because of those brothers. Absolutely.”
Brown and his Texas brethren forged a blueprint with PANTERA that’s been studied by nearly every metal act that followed. Dimebag is rightly immortalized as a good-natured, guitar-shredding legend. The rhythmic punch forged by Rex and Vinnie Paul has yet to be outdone. Along with singer Philip H. Anselmo, hailed as one of the greatest frontmen of all time, the self-described Cowboys From Hell PANTERA sparked a movement that reinvigorated heavy metal, inspired countless bands, and is memorialized in tattooed skin around the world, representing the five groundbreaking multi-platinum albums unleashed between 1990 to 2000 with billions of music streams annually.
This past summer, Gibson unveiled the Rex Brown Signature Thunderbird Bass. Rex worked closely with Gibson luthiers for two and a half years to create the Thunderbird bass that can fulfill any level of a player’s ability. A striking new Bass model in Ebony, with Gold accents the Rex Brown Signature Thunderbird Bass is available now at select global dealers and on Gibson.com.
“Before meeting up in Nashville for a tour of Gibson USA, I got to meet the whole team at Gibson,” said Rex. “Cesar Gueikian [Gibson brand president] and I forged a strong bond that day that I can only describe as ‘long-lost brothers’. He invited me to his home that night and we played music into the wee hours.
“Gibson has come so far, in such a short amount of time, and I’m beyond delighted to be in cahoots with this extraordinary bunch of music professionals. This new Thunderbird with Gibson is a life-long dream.”
The Gibson Rex Brown Signature Thunderbird Bass features a mahogany neck and body, with a slimmer neck profile, and gold hardware with a Hipshot bridge and tuners, including a Drop D Xtender. A pair of powerful Rexbucker T-bird pickups provide plenty of output and low-end punch. A master tone control is equipped with a push/pull switch that puts the pickups into passive mode when it is pulled out. Rex’s signature is reproduced on the truss rod cover, and the backplate is embellished with a Rex Brown self-portrait sketch. A Modern series hardshell case is included. With enough case candy to make you lick your boots, Rex and Gibson have built the ultimate Thunderbird to sling low and watch it go.
Plenty of folks who’ve accomplished a lot less are fine to rest on past achievements, but Brown is forever charging forward. With music influences from John Paul Jones, Pino Palladino, Jaco Pastorius, Tom Hamilton, Pete Way and Geddy Lee, Rex’s boots are firmly planted on the foundation of his storied past, while both eyes maintain a steely and steadfast gaze upon the future horizon.
As previously reported, the reformed PANTERA — featuring Brown and Anselmo along with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) — will headline a number of major festivals across North America, South America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts starting in December 2022.