Vinnie Paul died two weeks ago in his home in his sleep. One week after that, Rex posted this tribute to his socials:
“I’ve been devastated, saddened, and shaken, almost beyond words, about the passing of my longtime brother in Pantera, Vincent Paul Abbott.
While I understand and appreciate the desire to hear from me, I have taken my time to collect my thoughts, to begin to process this terrible loss. I’ve chosen to decline the interview requests, because this is not about me. This moment belongs to Vinnie.
When I was in junior high, I’d heard of these boys, the Abbotts. I knew Vinnie Abbott was an outstanding drummer. We had met at a UIL contest for lab bands when I was 15. My high school had one of the best music programs in the country. I met Vinnie in tenth grade. I was playing bass and he was playing drums in one of the country’s most prestigious lab bands at the high school level.
Vinnie and I formed a really tight bond, as we would have to do sectionals. The brothers and I went to every major concert together that came to town. We saw The Eagles, KISS, Pat Travers, Sammy Hagar, etc.
The brothers invited me to join their band, Pantera. We made our first album, Metal Magic before I was 18…Playing Skating rinks to Prom’s to anywhere we could get a gig!! Aww..The exuberance of Youth.
There were a lot of great metal drummers who Vinnie was influenced by, but once he got behind the kit, every single one of them had to take a look at what Vinnie Paul, the Brick Wall, was doing. He changed the game. He was the original for his generation, a generation that’s still going. Everybody wanted to play like him.
I’m so grateful to have been around the Abbott brothers, to play some part in their legacy, to share more than half of my life on the road and in the studio with them. And I’m so thankful that Vinnie found a home for his unmistakable groove, some peace and happiness, and a new family with Hellyeah, after the unthinkable tragedy in 2004.
The best way to honor Vinnie is to celebrate his life. He approached drumming, and friendship, with his own brand of perfection. We must remember the great times we shared with him. Rest in peace, Vinnie, and give Dime a big ole’ fashioned Texas style hug from all of us. You made an incredible mark on the world and you were taken from us way too soon.
Much love and respect,
Here is Video Tribute from HELLYEAH to Vinnie Paul: