METALLICA's Lars Urich has paid tribute to Vinnie Paul Abbott, thanking the former PANTERA drummer for his "incredible hospitality."
Vinnie Paul reportedly died in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas on Friday, June 22. He was 54 years old.
Earlier today, the METALLICA drummer tweeted out what looks like a mid-1990s photo of him with Vinnie Paul along with the following message: "Thank you for all the good times, Vinnie…your incredible hospitality and warm vibe was infectious and inspiring. Here's to another shot of Crown Royal and a next level game of air hockey down the road! RIP, brother. Much love."
After Vinnie Paul's brother, PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, was murdered in December 2004, Ulrich released a statement in which he said that he was "fortunate enough to meet both Darrell and his brother in Dallas on tour" in 1985. He went on to say: "The first thing me and my friend did as soon as that tour was over was to head straight back to Dallas and hang out with Darrell and Vinnie for a long time, 'cause they were the coolest mutherfuckers that we had met after criss-crossing the states for three months. That was the beginning of a friendship that was anchored in love, respect, fun, outrageousness, music, booze, sweat, late nights, early mornings, hangovers, headaches, pounding eardrums, sore bodies... the list goes on."
He added: "Darrell and his brother were the cornerstone of musical adventures that were always groundbreaking, pushing boundaries, challenging to themselves and to their fans, respected by their peers and always true musicians' musicians."
Vinnie Paul's body has been turned over to the medical examiner to determine a cause of death, and after that, he will be flown back to his home state of Texas to be buried between his mother and brother.
Vinnie Paul was most recently in the band HELLYEAH alongside MUDVAYNE vocalist Chad Gray and NOTHINGFACE guitarist Tom Maxwell.