Pantera singer in Nazi salute storm unrepentant
search
Cowboy from HeilCowboy from Heil

Pantera singer in Nazi salute storm unrepentant

Phil Anselmo, former frontman of heavy metal band, was performing to raise cash for cancer research; says gesture was ‘inside joke’

Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo ended a January 22, 2016 show at the Lucky Strike Live in Los Angeles, California, by giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute and screaming the words "white power" to the crowd. (Screen capture: YouTube)
Former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo ended a January 22, 2016 show at the Lucky Strike Live in Los Angeles, California, by giving what appeared to be a Nazi salute and screaming the words "white power" to the crowd. (Screen capture: YouTube)

LOS ANGELES — The former frontman of influential heavy metal band Pantera gave a Nazi-style salute on stage at a star-studded Los Angeles charity concert and appeared to shout “White Power!”

A YouTube clip posted by an audience member showed singer Phil Anselmo raising his arm before seemingly making the offensive remark.

Anselmo, who has refused to apologize for the slur, was standing on a mostly empty stage at the end of a January 22 concert raising money for cancer research.

He had been performing Pantera covers with major stars including Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who is known for left-leaning politics, and Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo.

Anselmo justified himself in the comments section on YouTube, saying the gesture was an inside joke after the band members had been drinking white wine.

“Some of y’all need to thicken up your skin,” he wrote, suggesting that critics should instead focus on those who have “a more realistic agenda.”

“No apologies from me.”

But many fans on social media voiced outrage and called Anselmo a racist, although some said they differentiated the singer from Pantera’s music.

Pantera was one of the defining metal bands of the 1980s and 1990s, with a dark sound that echoed the genre’s pioneering act Black Sabbath and lyrics full of rage and violence. It’s biggest hits included “Cowboys from Hell,” “Cemetery Gates” and “Walk.”

The Texas-based band long faced allegations of racism, with Anselmo known for provocative remarks on stage, as well as drug problems.

But Anselmo last year distanced himself from the Confederate flag which Pantera had incorporated into its art.

Last week’s concert also featured a cover of Motorhead, whose frontman Lemmy died of cancer last month.

The annual charity show takes place in memory of Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who was shot dead on stage in 2004 by an apparently obsessed fan.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments