UPDATE: Anselmo has since posted an apology video for his actions. Watch the video here.
The Dimebash this past weekend was the stuff of legend. Never again will there be a moment where a members of Foo Fighters, Pantera, Metallica and Slayer all shared the stage to pay tribute to Motorhead, and later of course, Dimebag.
The coverage after was, of course, very positive and very warm for all parties involved. But there is one moment at the very end of the night that may have ruined this good will. An attendee at the event uploaded a short video showing Phil Anselmo being pulled off stage by drummer Johnny Kelly, but not before he had a chance to give the Nazi salute, a "Sieg Heil" and shout "White Power" at the top of his lungs. The user who uploaded the video had this to say:
"At the end of the performance of 'Walk' at Dimebash 2016 and Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood CA Phil Anselmo decided to end the night with a sieg heil and scream white power to the crowd. I originally cut this from my first post of 'Walk' but I feel people deserve to see this! A very sad moment and to me ruined the night! This is not what Pantera is about!!! Absolutely uncalled for and I can see why Vinny Paul wants nothing to do with this man. Phil Anselmo you are a Racist prick!"
Here is the video:
Anselmo has seen the video and, under the account of his label, Housecore Records, responded to the video with the following comment:
"Ok folks, I'll own this one, but dammit, I was joking, and the 'inside joke of the night' was because we were drinking fucking white wine, hahaha… Of all fucking things. Some of y'all need to thicken up your skin. There's plenty of fuckers to pick on with a more realistic agenda. I fucking love everyone, I fucking loathe everyone, and that's that. No apologies from me."
It's hard to understand why, if Anselmo was joking, that he couldn't just apologize for something as inappropriate as this. It can be pointed out that members of his solo band are of Mexican and Iranian descent, and that the dude was really drunk here. Sure, Anselmo is known for having a "quirky" sense of humor, but this certainly crossed a line. What's the joke here? It ultimately contradicts statements he made a few months ago, when asked about the confederate flag:
Right now in my life as a grown up man and a soon to be 47 year old in 5 days… that any type of propagating hate toward any race or any group of people is not my bag at all.
It's made even worse by the fact that rumors of Anselmo being racist go back to the early 90s, where bootleg footage of him on stage talking about "white pride" surfaced. MetalSucks has a great editorial on his history of saying things that are clearly racist. Ultimately, I don't think Anselmo is truly racist, having met him, he seems like a kind, gentle, quirky person. But he's making it very difficult with his actions and later his words for people to grasp that.