Strangely enough, considering what a fire-breathing thrash/groove metal band they would become, Pantera started out as a glam-metal act. Formed in Arlington, Texas, by the Abbott brothers, drummer Vinnie Paul and guitarist Dimebag Darrell, along with vocalist Terry Glaze, in 1981, Pantera picked up bassist Rex Brown a year later. Deciding to go in a much heavier direction, Pantera dispatched Glaze and hired Phil Anselmo in 1987. During the 1980s, Pantera released four albums, but it wasn’t until 1990’s heavier, groove-oriented Cowboys from Hell that things started to click. Upping the ante further, Pantera pulled out all the stops on 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power. Their shows were sweaty, full-on mosh pits, and Pantera’s rabid fan base was growing stronger. Then, in 1994, they released Far beyond Driven, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Anselmo, however, was becoming addicted to heroin by 1995, and his drug use heightened tensions within the band, so much so that band members recorded parts for The Great Southern Trendkill separately. The bad blood only intensified, even as Pantera created 2000’s Reinventing the Steel. As Anselmo began pursuing projects outside the band, including Down, Pantera took a break in 2001. Two years later, the Abbott brothers put Pantera to rest, forming Damageplan. On Dec. 8, 2004, Dimebag was shot and killed while performing onstage with Damageplan in Columbus, Ohio, ending any hope of a Pantera reunion. Pantera gold and platinum record awards are some of the more interesting memorabilia items, while promo photos of the band from their heyday can run around $25 to $40. Concert tickets, handbills and posters can be had for that much or less, as can guitar picks. Instruments signed by Dimebag and other members are big-ticket items, while concert t-shirts are a less expensive option for collectors.
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