Rex Brown is the former bassist for Pantera and Down and has always been the strong, silent type as far as band members go. In 2011 Brown not only broke his silence, but told what is represented as the most neutral side of the Pantera story in his tell-all book, “Official Truth: 101 Proof.”
Browns tale centers around not only his upbringing and personal struggles (such as his battles with drugs and alcohol), but every step of Pantera’s journey through pain, pleasure and implosion. Brown also discusses Down and other aspects of his life on a personal level never seen before, not only shooting on his former bandmates but taking shots at himself along the way.
Despite Brown being a skinny guy, there’s a lot of meat on the proverbial bones of Truth.
Brown also discusses many high points of his career as well. Highlights include hilarious gambling and drinking stories, Pantera parties, and getting to meet, tour and jam with idols Metallica and Judas Priest. Readers will be amazed at how anyone could possibly get away with such debauchery.
Such is the life of a rock star.
Unlike most autobiographies, Brown doesn’t do all of the talking. Throughout the book excerpts are taken from former band members, close friends, and family members. Rita Haney’s contributions help piece the Pantera puzzle together, shedding a lot of light on how different the Abbot Brothers (Pantera drummer and guitarist Vinnie Paul and “Dimebag” Darrell) really were from each other and how each were affected by Pantera’s circumstances during their final years.
Official Truth is not only a great autobiography, but it stands as one of the best books written by a rock star. Brown not only tells his side of the story, but also allows the reader to slip into his mental state at times generating more of a conversation than text. If there were ever a film made about Pantera, Hollywood should adapt heavily from Official Truth.