T0day, metalheads consider Dimebag Darrell to be a patron saint of the genre, a virtuosic guitarist who also happened to be the ultimate good ol’ boy. But it’s important to remember that back in the day, Dime was just a kid from the South, who was aspiring to be like the virtuosic guitarists he worshipped growing up. That said, even then, Dime had a certain hardcore standard to him — which is made especially evident in a recent interview with ex-Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, who revealed that Dimebag was offered a chance to play in Megadeth, but turned it down because they wouldn’t take his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, as well.
As reported by Metal Addicts, during an interview with Jason Green, Ellefson discussed meeting Dime and the Pantera dudes for the first time while they were promoting their 1988 album Power Metal, the first to feature Phil Anselmo on vocals. Meanwhile, Megadeth found themselves with an opening for a guitarist, and Darrel wound up on the short list.
“At this point, [guitar player] Jeff Young is out of Megadeth,” said Ellefson, “Chuck Behler is still our drummer. We had cut a three-song demo of songs that would go become Rust in Peace…We had ‘Holy Wars’ in its entirety done, and then we had the music for ‘Polaris’ and what would become ‘Tornado of Souls.’ But we needed a guitar player.
“So I told Dave [Mustaine], we’re kicking around ideas — Jeff Waters from Annihilator was one of them — and then we reached out to Darrell,” he continued. “And Dave called, and [Dimebag] goes, ‘Look, huge honor, but with me would come my brother. We’ve got our band, Pantera.’ And it’s interesting, we didn’t need a drummer, even though we would replace Chuck with Nick [Menza]. We didn’t need a drummer at that time. I mean, you can imagine, God, what if Dime and Vinnie [Paul] joined Megadeth?
“That would have been pretty cool, yet at the same time, there’d be no Pantera.”
Check out the full interview below:
Words by Chris Krovatin