John 5 on Drinking With Dimebag Darrell: “I Thought I Got Stabbed In The Stomach”

Published on:

It’s no secret that legendary Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot enjoyed the occasional tipple. The axeman was infamous for his late nights, and could overwhelm even the most seasoned of drinkers (Hell, Nickelback are Canadian, so they can handle their booze, but even their bassist got taken down by Dime and his brother Vinnie Paul). So we can only imagine how it feels to be someone who doesn’t drink taking part in one of Dimebag’s whiskey rituals — but that’s exactly what Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 did, to…let’s say intense results.

Speaking to Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn on the vocalist’s No Fuckin’ Regrets Podcast, John 5 admitted that he doesn’t drink at all — but the one time he did was, understandably, at Dimebag’s request.

“The only time I ever had a drink — the only time — is we were on tour, it was [Marilyn Manson’s] Mechanical Animals tour, and Pantera would always come,” said John 5. “And it was really late, so I was in bed; I was curled up [in my bunk] sleeping. And we had to get to the next city. And they were, like, ‘Okay, we’ve gotta go.’ And [Dimebag]’s, like, ‘I’m not leaving until we do one more shot.’ And so they were, like, ‘Okay, let’s do another shot.’ He goes, ‘Go get [John]. He’s gotta do a shot.’ ‘He doesn’t drink.’ ‘I’m not leaving until he gets out here and takes a shot.’

“And so I had to get up — ’cause I wanted to go too,” said John. “And it was that Black Tooth [Grin].”

For those who don’t know, Dimebag Darrell’s signature drink, the Black Tooth Grin (named after a lyric from Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets”) is a double shot of Seagram’s 7, a double shot of Crown Royal, and a splash of Coke to give it a dark color. It’s an absolutely punishing drink, and one that a first time drinker should not fuck with.

And how did John fare? “I drank that and I thought I got stabbed in the stomach,” said the guitarist. “But that was the only time I ever had a drink.”

Check out the full interview below.


Words by Chris Krovatin