On June 22nd, the music world was saddened by the news that Vinnie Paul Abbott, better known as Vinnie Paul, had passed away. The drummer/co-founder of cult favorite Texas-native groove metal outfit, Pantera, died in his sleep from an apparent heart attack at the age of 54. Vinnie’s untimely death compounds the lingering feelings of loss felt by friends, family, and fans since his brother and Pantera co-founder, Dimebag Darrell, was shot and killed along with several others when a gunman climbed onstage and opened fire during a performance by their post-Pantera project, Damageplan.
On Saturday, Vinnie Paul’s memory was honored by thousands of fans at a memorial service at The Bomb Factory in Dallas. The public memorial featured a video tribute from former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, who had been estranged from Abbott for many years prior to his passing. In his first comments on Abbott’s death, Anselmo said, “Vince, always have love in my heart for you, man. Rest in peace.”
Watch Phil Anselmo’s full message to his late bandmate from the “Vinnie Paul Celebration of Life” below via Rock Feed:
Former Pantera Singer Phil Anselmo Speaks At Vinnie Paul Memorial
Various other notable musicians paid their respects to Vinnie as part of the memorial. As Billboard reports,
Abbott’s drum kit from his most recent band, Hellyeah, was on display on a stage with flowers sent by a number of other musicians and bands, including Kid Rock, Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Disturbed, Megadeth, comedian Carrot Top and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, who sent an arrangement in the shape of a drum. Along with several radio personalities, the event featured tributes from pro wrestler Chris Jericho, former KISS drummer Peter Criss, Overkill drummer Jason Bitner, Sammy Hagar, Five Finger Death Punch bassist Chris Kael and members of Drowning Pool.
Later in the night Anthrax’s Charlie Benante and Lamb of God’s Chris Adler played Abbott’s drum kit. Abbott was buried in a private service on Saturday (June 30).
You can watch a full video of the Vinnie Paul public memorial below via Rock Feed:
Vinnie Paul Public Memorial – Full Video
On Saturday, Umphrey’s McGee also paid tribute to Vinnie Paul during their performance at Asbury Park, NJ’s Stone Pony SummerStage, debuting a cover of Pantera’s “Walk” in his honor to close their show.