GUNS N' ROSES members Slash and Duff McKagan have paid tribute to former PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, who died on Friday (June 22) at the age of 54.
Slash wrote on Twitter: "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."
Duff added in his own tweet: "RIP Vinnie Paul. Friend. Humorist. Badass drummer. All-around good man. Condolences to the family. You will be missed bro..."
In a 2016 interview with Meltdown of Detroit, Michigan's WRIF radio station, Vinnie spoke about the impact GUNS N' ROSES' classic debut album, "Appetite For Destruction" had on him at the time of its release. "It was huge, man," he said. "Before PANTERA got a record deal, that album came out, and we covered just about every song on that record, man, and it was before that band blew up. We were such fans of the music. And it took that record about a year before it caught on, and then it caught on. Man, it's one of my all-time favorite records. To this day, [ the song] 'Welcome To The Jungle', you hear it in front of every football game, in front of [every] hockey game; it won't go away. And that's a great thing, man, when there's a song that has that kind of life. And then, of course, they're back doing it and they're touring. I saw them the other night at the big, gigantic [AT&T Stadium] here in Dallas, and I thought it was amazing."
He continued: "I would really love to see them be able to get [Steven] Adler [drums] back in the band and, of course, Izzy [Stradlin, guitar], but, you know, seeing Slash [guitar] and Axl [Rose, vocals] and Duff [McKagan] up there together was pretty amazing. And those songs… People go because they wanna hear those songs; those are some of the greatest rock songs ever. And I think I kind of equate it to when the people that were older than us came up with THE BEATLES or LED ZEPPELIN in the '70s; GUNS N' ROSES was that band for us. So I love that record, man."
Vinnie went on to say that seeing GUNS N' ROSES perform during the "Not In This Lifetime" stadium tour exceeded his expectations. "I've seen GUNS many, many times, and I'm telling you, man, this is the best, I think, I've ever seen Axl, man," he said. "He's really spot-on, and he's really singing great. And Slash doing his solo thing for so long, he's always had his chops up to par. So it's great to see those two really at their 'A' game with these songs again."
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 () June 23, 2018
RIP Vinnie Paul. Friend. Humorist. Badass drummer. All-around good man. Condolences to the family. You will be missed bro...— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) June 23, 2018