Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ode to Pantera Dude

Dear Pantera Dude,

Do you remember me?, because I remember you. You were a white boy. About seventeen or eighteen—my age back then. I vaguely remember you had long bleach-blond hair and blue eyes. And you wore Doc Martens, and I think a lot of dark clothing. Our Catholic parental units signed us up for a confirmation class at Santa Paula Parish. I attended the weekly evening class with my sister, who I think you may have had a crush on. That could explain why you hung around us, toward the back pews furthest from our elderly teachers. I remember you sat behind us, or sometimes next to me (I think).

Here’s why I remember you: you brought either a Walkman or a Discman to our confirmation class and played Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power, and, on a few occasions, you let me listen through your headphones and it was FUCKING AWESOME. I had never heard Pantera before. I was just beginning to purposefully listen to alternative rock, which, in time, served as my gateway to a galaxy of rock bands and musical genres in the years and decades to come. But thanks to you, I became familiar with Pantera’s powerful, heavy, testosterone-driven brand of groove metal from listening to songs like “Hollow” and “Walk” in the Lord’s house.