Former VAN HALEN members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have paid tribute to ex-PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, who died on Friday (June 22) at the age of 54.
Hagar wrote on Twitter: “Vinnie has been at nearly every birthday bash in Cabo from the beginning. I was at the cantina in Cabo late last night when I got the news. It sure is hard to believe. Great drummer, great guy and a great friend. Very sad.”
Anthony added on Facebook: “So sad and heartbroken to hear of the death of my good friend Vinnie Paul. A great friend, human being, and incredible drummer. R.I.P. brother.”
In a 2015 question-and-answer session at the DFW Acura Performance Showroom in Dallas, Texas, Vinnie Paul said that VAN HALEN was “a huge influence” on him when he first started playing drums. “Eddie and Alex [Van Halen] inspired me and my brother [late PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott] so much,” he said. “It was really just unbelievable the parallels that we had between ourselves.”
In a lasting sign of deep respect, Eddie Van Halen donated the black-and-yellow tape-striped guitar pictured on the back cover of “Van Halen II” to be buried with Dimebag.
Vinnie passed away in Las Vegas, where he owned a home. No other details of his death were immediately available.