"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney was interviewed on a recent edition of "The Classic Metal Show", which is heard live on Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. EST at TheClassicMetalShow.com. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Asked if she thinks Dimebag's brother, former PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, will ever rekindle his friendship with the band's lead singer, Philip Anselmo, Rita said: "Something like that and those emotions, those guys went through so much together — they went through some of the most hilarious of times and some of the most horrendous. And at the end of the day, they're still brothers there somewhere. And I just don't think a bond like that you can sever completely. And I know to carry that around, that kind of hurt and anger, is just really a lot on a person. And I know how it is for me personally.
"Philip then [and now], to me, were like two different people," she continued. "When I see photos of that long, stringy hair and yellow-colored skin and the weight loss, and looking in those eyes, that's not the Philip I ever knew — I didn't know that person and I don't want to know that person. I know when I look in his eyes now, he's the Philip I know and love, that I knew when he was 17 years old. And I know Darrell — Darrell's the most forgiving person I've ever met in my life. I know Vinnie has been in the hot seat with him, and so has his own father. And Vinnie probably wouldn't even be speaking to his father today had it not been for Darrell's forgiveness. And I've been in that hot seat. I've made mistakes that we forgave me for completely — I mean, one hundred percent, no doubt — to where our lives were the best that they were ever, since meeting him, since I was eight years old. And I knew I was right with him.
"Looking in Philip's eyes today, Philip has come a long way from what he was then as to who he is now," Rita added. "And, of course, there's still resentments and things that I know we probably will never see eye-to-eye on, but when you've got a bond with somebody like that, you just… you do, whether you want to or not. [Laughs] You're kind of stuck with them. I've seen Philip rise through some pretty awful ashes. I've got faith in him."
Pressed about whether her friendship with Philip has made it more difficult for her to have a relationship with Vinnie, Rita said: "Yeah, it has. But I would say this year, we're in a really good place. I just saw Vinnie at the Loudwire Awards. It was a good time. Nothing like getting a big bear hug. And I saw Rex [Brown, former PANTERA bassist], of course, as well. And it was good. I would love one day if all those guys could jump up on stage and belt out a few tunes. But, you know… you never know."
"Dimevision Vol. 2: Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over" — which is described as "another true celebration" of late PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott and how he lived his life — will be released on November 24 via Metal Blade Records. Pre-orders are available at this location. The DVD/CD set — which will include more raw footage, true gems and classic Dimebag moments — will also include five previously unreleased demos, picked from a vast catalog Dimebag accrued since Haney gave him his first four-track in 1984.
"Dimevision Vol. 2: Roll With It Or Get Rolled Over" is the follow-up to "Dimevision Vol. 1: That's The Fun I Have", which came out in 2006.
Haney in 2011 called on Vinnie and Anselmo to settle their differences in honor of Dimebag, who was shot and killed by a crazed gunman while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at a Columbus, Ohio rock club in December 2004.
Vinnie and Anselmo have not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. But the relationship got even more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag's death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer.
Photo credit: VintageRock.com