Alice in Chains guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell has written a tribute to Vinnie Paul, who died last Friday at age 54.
In the piece, published on RollingStone.com, Cantrell recalls how he met Paul and his brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott after a Pantera show in 1985, before he even met the other members of Alice in Chains.
“I was mesmerized by Darrell, and I loved how Vinnie played,” Cantrell recalls. “I remember we talked a little bit after their show and we just hit it off.”
Cantrell stayed close to the Abbott brothers throughout the years, and would often visit them in their hometown of Dallas on his way to see his father in Oklahoma.
“I always looked forward to that time in Dallas,” Cantrell says. “Because with both of those guys, Dime and Vinnie, it was always an adventure. You didn’t know where it was gonna end up when you got on their train, but you knew it was gonna be fun and it was gonna be interesting.”
Cantrell also remembers Paul as “extremely driven” and someone who “completely influenced a whole generation of drummers.”
“The way he played, the way he sounded — he had a kind of industrial sound to his drum — nobody else was like him,” Cantrell says.
Whatever Paul did in his life, Cantrell remarks, he did so “unapologetically.”
“I always respected that about him,” Cantrell says. “He was a guy who achieved his dreams, and worked his a** off to get there. And he always tried to have a good time doing it.”
“Vinnie was always consistent,” he continues. “He was someone I could rely on — a friendly pair of eyes. Every time you’d look in ’em, they’d look the same looking back at you. I’m gonna miss the hell [out] of him.”
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