The music world was rocked yesterday by the death of founding Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbot, who passed away at the age of 54. Now, some of his closest friends and contemporaries have paid tribute to the late rocker.
Yesterday afternoon, the official Pantera Facebook account broke the news that Abbott had passed away, sharing no further information, and asking for respect at this difficult time. However, Abbott’s family spoke to TMZ earlier today where they revealed that the drummer had passed away in his sleep, with the Las Vegas medical examiner set to determine a formal cause of death.
Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away.Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bandsPantera…
Vinnie Paul had founded Pantera back in 1981 alongside his brother, and lead guitarist of Pantera, ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott. The group welcomed vocalist Phil Anselmo in 1986, before seeing their breakthrough success in 1990 with their fifth album, Cowboys From Hell.
Following Pantera’s breakup in 2003, the Abbott brothers formed Damageplan, recording one album in 2004, before dissolving in December of that year following the onstage murder of ‘Dimebag’ Darrell by a fan during a performance in the US state of Ohio.
Vinnie Paul would later join Texas-based heavy metal band Hellyeah in 2006, performing on all five of the group’s albums, with their last, Unden!able, being released in 2016.
Now, following the drummer’s passing, notable members of the metal community have shared a number of moving tributes to the late rocker, including members of Metallica, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, and Slipknot, just to name a few.
Vinnie…..to the man with the slickest kicks and the best vibe ALWAYS. You inspired us all, not only with your music, but with your love and hospitality. You were one in a million, and will be missed… pic.twitter.com/CTa5rWClJl
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) June 23, 2018
Tragic news about Vinnie Paul today. He was one of the warmest people I knew. A truly good & fun friend. We're going to miss you more than you could possibly have known. RIP buddy. https://t.co/yQqruY4tio
— Slash (@Slash) June 23, 2018
Thanks for the one of a kind memories my dear friend, I hope that you are in the arms of our brothers. pic.twitter.com/zNulWNAt5H
— Synyster Gates (@SynysterGates) June 23, 2018
I just woke up in Belgium to the news that my friend Vinnie Paul has passed away. Another metal hero taken too soon. Say hello to Daryl for me. Rest In Peace, my dear friend. @Pantera @hellyeahband #vinniepaul
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) June 23, 2018
So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul. Loved when Pantera did shows with us and in later years Vinnie was always front and center at all KISS shows. RIP and condolences to his family. https://t.co/DaQREBNVW7
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) June 23, 2018
Thank you for all the good times, Vinnie…your incredible hospitality and warm vibe was infectious and inspiring. Here’s to another shot of Crown Royal and a next level game of air hockey down the road! RIP, brother. Much love. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ehNXoO88jY
— Lars Ulrich (@larsulrich) June 23, 2018
“You inspired us all, not only with your music, but with your love and hospitality. You were one in a million, and will be missed,” wrote the Foo Fighters on social media. “He was one of the warmest people I knew,” echoed Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash. “A truly good & fun friend. We’re going to miss you more than you could possibly have known.”
While others also shared their memories of the rocker’s influence on them, Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe shared a heartfelt tribute which noted how he came to his aid back in 2012 while on trial in the Czech Republic for the manslaughter of a 19-year-old stage-invading fan.
“He also did me a very solid favor when I was in some very serious legal trouble a while back by writing a detailed letter to a judge explaining what had happened to his brother & the need for good stage security,” Blythe wrote.
“That wasn’t an easy thing for him to do, but he did it anyway because he was a true friend and knew I needed some help– I’ll never forget that, & I made sure he knew I appreciated it.”