During a recent interview with "The Cassius Morris Show", Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) was once again asked about the possibility of a hypothetical PANTERA tribute tour, with him filling in for the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott on guitar.
"When Saint Vinnie [late PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, who died in June 2018] was still around, they were talking about it then," Zakk said (hear audio below). "I mean, the way I always looked at it is it's a PANTERA celebration and an honor. I mean, every night I'm playing with Ozz, we honor Saint Rhoads [late Ozzy guitarist Randy Rhoads]. I'm playing the Randy stuff every night, and I'm blessed and it's an honor to do it. Basically, we're paying tribute to Randy every night — keeping his music alive.
"If we got together and we ended up doing it, it would be like… I just look at it like if Eric Clapton went out and was with Mitch [Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix's drummer] and Noel [Redding, Hendrix's bass player] and singing and playing Jimi's songs, and he's honoring Jimi, 'cause that was his buddy.
"No one's replacing anybody. No one's replacing Randy Rhoads — he was a one-off. Just like no one's replacing Jimi Hendrix and no one's replacing Dime [late PANTERA guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] — or Vinnie.
"If [LED] ZEPPELIN was going out, and if Jason's [Bonham] playing drums, no one's replacing his father. What they're doing is celebrating his father's greatness and what he achieved and all the mountains he conquered with ZEPPELIN.
"It's more of a tribute and a celebration than it is... You can't replace any of these people I'm talking about — they're all legendary guys. But, yeah, you're just celebrating all their achievements — that's all."
Former PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo recently told Chile's Humo Negro that he would consider getting together with Wylde and PANTERA bassist Rex Brown and performing the band's classic songs in concert. "Well, Zakk is a busy man," he said. "He does his own band, he does stuff with Ozzy and all that stuff. We spoke about it maybe one time. And I think everybody — everybody — is… I guess they're like me. Keep an open mind about it. We'll see. But I know from all the hard work with THE ILLEGALS here to make those songs right, all of us, we would have to take time off and really practice together and get everything perfect. So it's a lot of work. And I'm doing a lot of bands, man, right now. [But] if everything was lined up, I would do it — sure. Fuck yeah! Why not?"
Talk about a possible PANTERA "reunion" intensified when Anselmo regularly joined Wylde's BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to perform PANTERA's song "I'm Broken" during DOWN's 2014 stint on the "Revolver Golden Gods Tour". That buzz only got stronger after Brown joined the jam on May 23, 2014 when the tour swung through Texas.
Up until his death in June 2018, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with Anselmo, whom the drummer indirectly blamed for the death of "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was his brother.
Vinnie Paul and Dimebag co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.