Former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown has paid tribute to Vinnie Paul Abbott , saying that the late PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer was his "longtime brother" who "made an incredible mark on the world."
In a heartfelt remembrance on the Rolling Stone web site, Rex wrote that he has "been devastated, saddened, and shaken, almost beyond words, about" Vinnie Paul 's passing. He went on to say that "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. People always thought those were sampled tracks — they were not. Period."
Brown also praised Vinnie 's engineering skills, saying: "He knew the ins and outs of any board. He learned so young from his dad, who was an experienced engineer. He could get behind the board and do anything. He just had it."
Rex expressed his gratitude for having "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," he said.
Brown concluded by saying that "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."
Vinnie Paul and his brother "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott co-founded PANTERA . When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN . On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage. He was 38 years old.
Vinnie and Dimebag 's father was Jerry Abbott , a successful country songwriter whose tunes were recorded by the likes of Emmylou Harris and Freddy Fender .
Vinnie passed away on June 22 at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. The drummer's death "did not appear suspicious," according to the official report of the event recorded by Metropolitan Police officers. Sources close to Vinnie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he suffered a "major heart attack," but that information has not been corroborated yet by an official source.
Vinnie 's death came about a year after he slammed Rex 's memoir as "a bunch of mythology." Asked about the way he was depicted in Brown 's 2013 book, "Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera" , in which the former PANTERA bassist referred to Vinnie as "a strange person" who "was always all about the 'party, party, party'" but "only got laid maybe one out of ten times," the drummer told the "Rover's Morning Glory" syndicated radio show: "All I can say is that… I'll refer to Philip 's [ Anselmo , former PANTERA singer] comment about Rex 's book. A bunch of mythology, man. We don't know where he came up with all this. More power to him, man."