The Thrash God Who Recorded A Guest Solo In A Bathroom

Roy Rochlin / Getty Images
Published on:

It’s a sign of deep respect and admiration for a band to invite another musician to feature on their record.

Such collaborations are viewed as symbols of camaraderie within a tight-knit community of artists. It’s not merely about lending talent but also about honoring the contributions of those who have helped pave the way for a group.

Pantera’s invitation to Slayer guitarist Kerry King to play on their track “Goddamn Electric” is a testament to this tradition of mutual reverence among metal’s elite.

Pantera’s album Reinventing The Steel can be seen as an homage to their roots. Although their sound had evolved to become increasingly more intense and brutal with each record since Cowboys From Hell, the band deliberately integrated their appreciation for traditional heavy metal into their swan song.

In particular, the song “Goddamn Electric” serves as an outright love letter to the genre. Its lyrics vividly pay homage to metal forefathers by name-checking pioneering heavyweights Black Sabbath and contemporaries such as Slayer.

The track also unabashedly celebrates other rock ‘n’ roll staples, with whiskey and weed getting their due, all woven into an unapologetic salute to heavy metal itself.

The track features a searing guest solo from none other than Kerry King. This pairing of Pantera’s robust backing with the legendary Slayer axeman’s ferocious lead combines in a mix that’s electric (pun intended) in both name and spirit.

The circumstances under which King recorded his segment for the song were no less extraordinary than the collaboration itself, as it wasn’t in a plush studio setting but rather a far more unconventional location that this piece of history.

Yep, the backdrop for King’s shredding was none other than the unassuming confines of a goddamn bathroom.

Pantera’s iconic guitarist Dimebag Darrell recounted the proceedings to Guitar World in 2000: “It just so happened, when [we] were getting ready to record that song last year, Slayer was coming through town on the Ozzfest with Sabbath, and Kerry called me up. I said, ‘Dude, I’m bringing something out there, so get ready.’ I didn’t let him know what it was. “

Continuing: “We brought a DA-88, a tape with a rough stereo mix of the whole tune on it, an SM-58 and a mic cord. I caught Kerry before he went onstage. He was warming up, and I said, ‘Do you want to play on this tune? We rag on Slayer.’”

“Kerry’s always pumped up and ready to kick ass on anything,” said Darrell. “They went up onstage and played their set. The whole time I was yelling, ‘Kerry! Rip it!’ They were tearing it up. “

“After the set was finished I saw the Marshall stack come rolling through the door, and here comes Kerry,” remembered the guitarist. “We plugged him up. Vinnie was back there and he had it all wired up. He hit ‘record,’ and the first thing Kerry played was awesome. You can hear me at the end of the take yelling, ‘Don’t touch that! Fuck, that’s hot!’ He recorded it right there on the spot, backstage at Starplex in Dallas, in a bathroom. Kerry packed his shit up and fuckin’ flew somewhere else and jammed some more.”