By MIKE SOTO
“Official Truth: 101 Proof” is the autobiography of bass guitarist Rex Brown, former member of iconic metal band Pantera, who disbanded in 2003.
While Brown shares authorship with writer Mark Eglinton, the partnership only consisted of Brown standing over Eglinton’s shoulder and instructing him when to drop an f-bomb on the page. In order to legally claim authorship, Brown needed to contribute at least 20 percent of the words which explains why exactly 20 percent of the words found in the book are the expletive.
Paradoxically, the most telling part of the book is what is left unsaid. Rex neglects to discuss the true events contributing to the demise of the band, or even mention it at all. As a whole the band faced many hardships, including alcoholism, dumpster-sized egos, and the death of their guitarist. But perhaps the most influential moment in the band’s career has been omitted, that being their appearance on children’s cartoon “Spongebob Square Pants."
In the book Brown is brutally honest, describing in grime-caked detail every major event that occurred behind the scenes with the band, however, he remains conspicuously silent on this issue that may have had the largest impact on the band and ended up hospitalizing front man Phil Anselmo for five months.
The infamous episode is titled “Prehibernation Week" -- Google it if you don’t believe me, and while you’re at it, Google yourself a nice picture of a cat wearing some type fruit as a hat. You deserve it.
In the half hour episode, the band barely makes it out alive as they stumble through a fantastical underwater world they are ill equipped for. Tempers quickly flare as Spongebob’s idiotic but innocent sidekick Patrick Star almost drowns the band’s leader, Anselmo, in several instances.
The whole situation was further complicated when the band auditioned the cartoon starfish Patrick Star as a replacement for Anselmo just weeks after the episode aired. It cause even more friction in an already tense atmosphere.
Again, the book devotes a total of zero pages to the band’s audition of Patrick Star. Perhaps if publishers went with their original plan and released the book as a cartoon due to the illiteracy rate of Pantera fans being over 89 percent, the full story would have been told. Some may take issue with speaking about content that does not appear in the book, this is a review after all; however, the bigger issue readers should be concerned about is the fact that I’m sitting on the book naked while writing this.
Furthermore, since the book is titled, “Official Truth: 101 Proof,” it would be a disservice to the spirit of the book and the band to not tell the whole truth. In the end, Brown dealt with the loss of his friend, his alcoholism, the deterioration of his career, but there was one obstacle he could not overcome, one Patrick Star.