Dimebag Darrell’s guitar tech slams critics expecting Zakk Wylde to “clone Dime note for note” in Pantera reunion shows

“So many people think that’s the way to go, but it’s not. That’s not what this celebration is all about,” Grady Champion says.

[L-R] Zakk Wylde and Dimebag Darrell

Credit: Getty Images

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Grady Champion, longtime guitar tech of the late Dimebag Darrell, explains why critics who expect Zakk Wylde to “clone Dime note for note” in the recent Pantera reunion shows have completely missed the point.

“We did add a few things to his signal chain, but when all’s said and done, Zakk’s out there to represent Dime and his music, and not be a Dime clone, ’cause he’s not,” Grady says in a new chat with Guitar World.

“He’s Zakk, and he’s out there on that stage representing his brother, paying homage to the brothers, and giving it 333 percent. That’s all that matters to me, and it couldn’t be cooler.”

Adding that the Pantera shows are a tribute to the band’s legacy, Grady says that he hates “all those internet ‘experts’ expecting Zakk to clone Dime note for note, sound exactly like him, use his guitars, blah, blah, blah.”

“So many people think that’s the way to go, but it’s not,” he explains. “That’s not what this celebration is all about. It’s having fun, playing Pantera’s music to a crowd and doing it your way. People have to understand it’s a tribute, it’s a celebration, and he’s there for the brothers.”

He continues: “Zakk’s got enough fame and he’s also got a bunch of other irons in the fire. The fact he’s put it all on hold to do Pantera is an amazing tribute to Dime and Vinnie. He’s doing what he wants to do and it’s totally genuine. There isn’t anyone Dime would rather have doing this, either. And he’d want Zakk to play like Zakk because of the mutual respect those two had for each other as players and as people.”

“What’s funny is the few people I’ve seen who can supposedly do Dime note for note still miss the mark for me. Even if you’re nailing every riff and solo note for note, in time and at the right tempo, I can always tell. People think they’ve got it nailed, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s good, but it’s not Darrell.’”

Earlier this month, Zakk Wylde debuted a Dimebag Darrell-inspired Wylde Audio Warhammer onstage with Pantera. The lightning bolt-finished axe – inspired by Dimebag’s iconic Dean From Hell model – contained clues that point to a potential production run in the future…


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