Talking with Legends: One on One with Terry Glaze
Written by Matt Drummond
Brilliant is a word that comes to mind when i hear the name Terry Glaze. You won’t ever hear him say that or give himself any credit for being such an innovator and figure in heavy metal history, but that’s precisely what Terry is. I can’t express how fortunate I am for doing what I do. I’m a metalhead who somehow became a writer and I always try to stop and embrace the unique experiences I’m so lucky to have.
On December 12th, 2016, I got to talk to a guy who needs no introduction. He helped initiate the commencement of legendary powerhouse, Pantera, and continues to do what he loves today – play music. This is Terry Glaze, Pantera’s original singer, and his rock’n’roll resume is better than yours, so have a seat and check this out.
Pantera is one of the most respected bands in heavy metal and most didn’t know the band had a history before Philip Anselmo. So to start things off I asked a simple question – How did Pantera start?
“I was playing with a bass player named Tommie Bradford and a singer named Donnie Hart in high school, 11th grade. We wanted to jam with Vince, who was the best drummer in the school. So we got together and we jammed, and it was cool. So ultimately the negotiation was Vince would take our singer Donnie and we would take his little brother Darrell. Darrell I think was in 9th grade, so the five of us got together. Vince and Darrell’s father was a recording studio engineer, so I really wanted to try and learn how to do songs. After awhile I really wanted to sing my own songs. Donnie, the singer, wound up stepping out, so it became a four piece. Their father was helping manage us, running sound and we were playing bars. At that time the drinking age was 18 and we were all like 16, 15. I mean we just started doing it and that’s how it started.”
Pantera started off like any other band, but they had big dreams from the start.
“We didn’t think we were just in a high school band. We didn’t want to be the local high school band. We wanted to play concerts with Van Halen, Black Sabbath. We thought somebody’s gotta be doing that, so why not us? We always had big vision. We lived it and worked hard. We just started going for it and we were too young, stupid, or naive to know we couldn’t do it. It helps when you have the greatest guitar player in the world and the four of us were all a good team. It was a lot of fun.”
There’s no question that Terry is proud of his time in Pantera. He expressed over and over how talented Vince, Rex, and Darrell were. He always looked forward to jamming with Darrell and considers every occasion an inspiration to him. He credits his years in Pantera and his bandmates as the thing that sent him on the path for the rest of his life.
“When Darrell was a young teenager he went in his room and workshopped for about six months. When he came out the other side he was kind of a fully formed rock star. At that time, he could play anything, it was incredible. Even though I was a young teenager ya know there was a lot of confidence of knowing you could walk out there and know you were gonna have a good show because you had the best guitar player anywhere.”
Terry was a part of Pantera for three albums – 1983’s Metal Magic, 1984’s Projects in the Jungle, and 1985’s I am the Night. His personal favorite is ‘Projects,’ but he emphasized again how proud he was of all three records.
After parting ways with Pantera after a less than stellar reception of 1985’s I am the Night, Terry carried on with his musical career with hard rock band, Lord Tracy, which he rocked with until 1991. And though the band wouldn’t reunite until 2004, Terry refused to stop playing music. in fact, he told me he “feels lucky to be able to wake up every day, and play rock ‘n roll.”
From glam to hard rock, it seems like Terry’s open to try anything, 100% of the time. Not every musical project he entered has worked, but a whole lot have. Lord Tracy, Blowphish, and The Crayfish, are just a few of his standout bands. Through which he’s steadily crafted his sound, which he describes as “Southern Pride Van Halen” and that’s spot on. It’s classic beer drinking music, but at the same time hearing Terry rip into a solo, like on Lord Tracy’s ‘Kick it Out,’ he’ll remind you that this guy can hit you with a sledgehammer whenever he damn well pleases.
To say I’m honored to have gotten the opportunity to interview Terry Glaze is a gross understatement. You hope as a fan that the musicians you’ve loved for so long are cool and learning first hand that they’re cool only increases their legend. I’ve never spoken with a more humble guy. Terry seriously credits everyone but himself and that’s awesome. He’s so incredibly grateful to have learned from and been inspired by the numerous musicians he has worked with. When it comes to the musicians who bring out the best in him, he credits Kinley Wolfe and ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott.
In his decades in the rock’n’rolll business, Terry has definitely worked with some very talented, and incredible musicians. Something that must be respected is that he’s also highly talented and incredible. It doesn’t matter how you break any of this down, he’s a legend. End of story.
I want to thank Terry again for sharing so many stories with me. This was stuff that you just can’t hear anywhere else especially the following:
“Darrell was the life of the party. It was like a camera was rolling 24/7. It was almost incredible. He would do anything and he LOVED getting people drunk. He never kinda turned it off, but at the same time he was the greatest. He was passionate and just so easy to get along with.”