Remembering Pantera’s founding member and drummer Vinnie Paul

One of Metal’s most influential drummers was born 60 years ago today

Remembering Pantera’s founding member and drummer Vinnie Paul

Vinnie Paul was born Vincent Paul Abbott on March 11, 1964, in Abilene, Texas. Paul formed the Metal band Pantera in 1981 with his brother Dimebag Darrell. Pantera recruited vocalist Phil Anselmo in 1987. By 1990, the band had been signed to Atco Records and released Cowboys from Hell, which proved to be the band’s turning point. Over the course of four more studio records, a live album and a greatest hits compilation, Anselmo and Pantera were nominated for four best metal performance Grammys for the songs “I’m Broken”, “Suicide Note Pt. I”, “Cemetery Gates”, and “Revolution Is My Name”. In 2001, Anselmo decided to put Pantera on hold because of back pain while he toured and recorded with his side projects. Pantera’s official disbandment took place in 2003 for several reasons, but mainly because of the ongoing dispute between Anselmo and the Abbott brothers. After the breakup of Pantera, the Abbott brothers formed the heavy metal band Damageplan with former tattoo artist Bob Zilla on bass and former Halford guitarist Pat Lachman on lead vocals. Damageplan recorded one album, New Found Power, which was released on February 10, 2004. On December 8, 2004, while on tour to support Damageplan’s album, Dimebag Darrell was shot dead onstage by ex-US marine Nathan Gale at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio. Damageplan disbanded shortly thereafter. In June 2006, after the death of his brother and an 18-month hiatus, Paul was not sure if he would return to music but eventually joined in with the heavy metal supergroup Hellyeah. Paul’s biggest drum influences were Peter Criss of KISS and Tommy Aldridg and also Bill Ward, John Bonham, Mikkey Dee, Alex Van Halen, and Neil Peart. Vinnie Paul passed away from a “dilated cardiomyopathy and coronary artery disease on June 22, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada at age 54.

Look back at the 1994 music video for “I’m Broken” by Pantera

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