Rex Brown writes heartfelt tribute to Vinnie Paul

Rex Brown and Vinnie Paul

Rex Brown has written a lengthy, emotional tribute to his late friend Vinnie Paul.

The former Pantera and Hellyeah drummer died on June 22 at the age of 54. He was laid to rest at a public memorial event in Dallas last week. 

At the service, many of Vinnie's friends paid their respects, including former Pantera bandmate Phil Anselmo who appeared via video link. 

And now, former Pantera bassist Rex Brown has written a tribute to Vinnie Paul for Rolling Stone. Rex formed Pantera in 1981 with Vinnie and Dimebag Darrell, who was killed on December 8 2004.

In the tribute, Rex sends his condolences to Vinnie's family and relatives, especially his father Jerry Abbott "who opened his studio and showed us the ropes in the early days. No man should have to bury his sons."

He goes on to describe the early days of his friendship with Vinnie in school, forming Pantera and the close bond he shared with the Abbott brothers.

"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," Rex writes. "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."

Rex reflects on the demise of Pantera, their legacy, and some career highlights including all four original members of Kiss singing Vinnie a happy birthday.

"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. Rest in peace, Vinnie, and give Dime a big ole’ fashioned Texas style hug from all of us. You made an incredible mark on the world and you were taken from us way too soon."

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.