Grady Champion, who was “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott’s guitar tech throughout his career with Panter recently revealed that he has “signed on” for the band’s upcoming tour. The comments from Grady came in just hours after it was announced that the influential heavy metal group will play its first shows in over 20 years in December 2022, starting with a co-headlining slot at Mexico’s Hell & Heaven Metal Fest, followed by appearances at three Knotfest festivals in South America.
Grady Champion set to join Pantera for tour
Panter is set to perform at Hell & Heaven Metal Fest on Friday, December 2 at Foro Pegaso in Toluca. Knotfest Colombia is scheduled for Friday, December 9 at Campin Circuit of Bogotá. Knotfest Chile is slated to take place on Sunday, December 11 at Estadio Monumental in Santiago. Knotfest Brasil will follow on Sunday, December 18 at Sambódromo do Anhembi in São Paulo.
On Thursday, August 25 ,Grady took to his Instagram to write: “Ok. For all the people i’ve ghosted, and anyone else who is interested. I’m doing a thing. I signed on for the PANTERA tour. Rita Haney [Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend] has allowed me access to some of Dime’s gear and i’m bringing it for Zakk. I’m not his tech, he has a bad ass, long-time one. The plan for now is for me to run effects and help bring Dime’s tone to the party. The details of the rig and stuff are still to be worked out yet.
“I started with Pantera and I will end with Pantera. I didn’t know the ‘right’ thing to think, to say, to do. When I saw the headline like everyone else, I threw up, sweaty palms, heart was freaking out, I had seen that headline 1000 times in my nightmares. After it sunk in and I spoke to everyone, I felt like I would be crazy to turn my nose up and say f that. I need to be involved IF I am needed, turns out I am needed, and i’m fkn doing it.
“Thanks to my family, Jamie McAfee Champion, Garrett Champion, Landon Champion for understanding and LETTING me do this for me, for the cause, for my fallen brothers. I wouldn’t be ANYwhere in life if it hadn’t been for Dime and his belief in me. So I HAVE to go represent.”Anyways, not too good with words, but heart is on the sleeve here.
“Anyone that brings up ‘money grab’ has no concept of reality. How much it takes from people to do this. More dedication that you’ll ever see, tears, all of it. If you want to hate, don’t go, I don’t want to hear it. If you want a PANTERA experience, this is it. We’re giving it hell, and going to give it all there is to give. Philip, Rex Brown, Zakk and Char Benante are going to bring it.
“Stronger than all”.
Last month, it was confirmed that the band’s surviving members Philip Anselmo (vocals) and Rex Brown (bass) will unite with guitarist Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) and drummer Charlie Benante (Anthrax) for a world tour under the Pantera banner. It has been noted that Anselmo and Brown, along with Wylde and Benante, will headline a number of major festivals across North America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts.