Sunday’s (July 1) public memorial for Vinnie Paul Abbott in Dallas, Texas included emotional tributes from a number of Vinnie‘s fellow musicians, some of whom appeared in person while others sent short video speeches expressing their affection for the fallen drummer. One musician who appeared via video was SOUNDGARDEN and PEARL JAM drummer Matt Cameron, who stated in his message (see video below): “Hello, this is Matt Cameron. On behalf of the entire SOUNDGARDEN band and crew, we’d like to offer our deepest condolences to the Abbott family on the passing of the great Vinnie Paul.
“I thank you for the invitation to the memorial service, but I’m on tour, and I really appreciate the invitation. I wish I could be there.
“I was in awe of Vinnie‘s playing — his double kick, precision, his power, his groove. The style of drumming that Vinnie helped create and perfect was incredibly technical and incredibly difficult. He did it with such grace and power, and you could tell he loved what he was doing. He had so much charisma onstage. He loved his fans, he loved his band — you could just tell he loved what he was doing.
“There was a tour in 1992 that SOUNDGARDEN was on. We opened for SKID ROW and there was one show where we shared the bill with PANTERA. We had the difficult task of following PANTERA. I had never seen them at that point before 1992, and at that time, I was pretty confident with my band; I wasn’t really intimidated that easily. But after watching PANTERA smoke us, I was a little intimidated. And I was in awe of the band.
“After the show, I kind of sheepishly went up to Phil [Anselmo] and Rex [Brown], and I introduced myself. And they were total sweethearts; they could not have been nicer. They invited me on the bus, and I met Darrell and then Vinnie. Darrell rolled a big fatty, Vinnie gave me a beer… They were really hospitable guys. And I just remember that being a life lesson where I decided to stick my tail between my legs and go meet the masters.
“I’ll never forget that experience of working with PANTERA in the early ’90s.
“I miss those guys a lot. I wish they were around. They were taken from us far too early, but their music will live on forever, and Vinnie Paul will live on forever. God bless.”
The PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer was buried on Saturday (June 30) next to his brother, PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington, Texas. He was laid to rest in a custom “Kiss Kasket” provided by KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as a gift to Vinnie‘s family. Vinnie was also buried in some of his trademark clothes, including his hat, shoes and flannel.
Speakers at the service included former GRIM REAPER guitarist Nick Bowcott, while among the attendees were original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, DISTURBED‘s David Draiman, NICKELBACK‘s Chad Kroeger, ANTHRAX‘s Charlie Benante, FOZZY‘s Chris Jericho and ROUGH CUTT‘s Paul Shortino.
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 police report. 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.