How Dimebag Darrell Almost Lost His Guitar To Deftones In A Dice Game

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As far as metal tours go, it doesn’t get much wilder and more extreme than “War of the Gargantuas.” Aptly named after the famous kaiju film, the two month run of arena concerts featured the legendary lineup of Pantera and White Zombie (in what would wind up being their last tour) at their creative and commercial peaks. 

If that’s not enough to make your head spin, support on the first leg of the tour was from New Orleans miscreants Eyehategod (if you know anything about that band, just imagine seeing those madmen in a giant arena). The opening act on the final days of the tour was a fresh-faced young band called the Deftones.

In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, Deftones frontman Chino Moreno spoke about his favorite memory from the tour:

“Man, I’ve got a lot of memories from that tour that I can’t tell because they would just indict too many people [Laughs]. Honestly, that was probably one of the wildest and most fun tours.  We were very lucky to do that tour because I feel like those were some of the days of the way the road probably used to be before the new era of touring began—which I guess isn’t as debauchery-ridden as it used to be [Laughs]. It was great to feel like we had a part in some of the final days of that. Those were wild times.

“There was a lot of gambling. A really good story involved Stephen [Carpenter] and Dimebag Darrell. At that point of the tour, about a few weeks in, Dimebag was down a few grand, and Stephen was just coming in and cleaning house. It’s funny because we were like the poorest band out there. Adrenaline had just come out and we didn’t have any money. After the show was over, Pantera would host these huge dice games in their dressing room. They’d have free-for-all Taco Bell, “Blacktooth Grins” and beers. 

“The guys from White Zombie and Pantera would be there gambling, and they were going big money. We’d come in with five or ten dollars here and there. Basically, in the middle of the tour, Stephen was up a few G’s which was straight loot for us at that time. I could tell Dimebag wanted his money back [Laughs]. I told Steph to tell Dimebag that they’d go for one roll to get all of his money back or Stephen gets Dimebag’s Washburn “Stars and Bars” guitar. At that time, Stephen probably wouldn’t have even played it but he could’ve put in his guitar boat.

“Just to have it would’ve been sick! We thought it’d be a good one to have. Dimebag went for it and Stephen lost, so Dimebag got all of his money back [Laughs].

“There’s no big story to tell, other than it could’ve been a great tale if we had that guitar but Stephen had to go lose. Like I said, that was one of the most fun tours I’ve ever done in my whole life. Phil kind of took me under his wing. He basically showed me the ropes of touring in a lot of ways. It was really neat. All of those guys were really good to us.”

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