850 Music & Entertainment

Exploring Entertainment in Florida's 850 & Beyond

The Loss of a Legend: Vinnie Paul

Perspective is always an odd thing, especially when it comes to music: How one day somebody can be there and the next, they’re simply not. How one day they’re playing to legions of fans across a loud stage with nothing but horns in the air and loud congratulations, and the next there’s silence.

In a case like Vinnie Paul, it’s even more interesting because in a world that often doesn’t even recognize members like drummers, he managed to become a household name. In part because of his broad history and in part because of his personality.

Not only was he the long-time drummer and founding member of Pantera, which earned legions of fans and spawned off many sub-genres of metal, he was just a damn good guy.

Of all the stories that make it to me from the news, from roadies, tour managers, and different people who all have a hand in putting on shows, sometimes you hear the good, bad, and the ugly about everyone.

Sometimes you hear things you kind of wish you hadn’t, but you know, that’s all part of it. But for Vinnie Paul, none of that ever made its way to me. Everyone was happy to see him. Everyone was excited to have him around. Everyone knew they were dealing with a legend.

He was always game to take photos. He was always throwing out drumsticks to whoever seemed the most excited to be there. At the end of the day, he was just a damn good guy that happened to be a top-notch musician and happened to have reached this legendary household name status.

Over the last couple of years especially, it seems like there has been this odd, unexplainable, just overwhelming onslaught of loss of musicians and loss of life. Both here locally and of course with national artists and global artists that are well-known just like Vinnie.

When each one passed, the stories come. There comes the people that wouldn’t be where they are without them, people that looked up to them, the people that first picked up a music instrument because of their influence. It’s all part of it. It’s all part of the impact you can have on another person without even really knowing each other.

And I think that’s part of what makes Vinnie’s loss particularly hard, he just seemed like a damn good guy. He seemed like a guy that you would want to crack open a beer with and hang out over by the pool. That you would talk shit about with about whatever sports team he was into.

But when he got on stage, he became the Vinnie Paul. He didn’t let tragedy, the very public loss of his brother, become something that kept him from doing what he loved. He managed to make it past everything that would have stopped so many other people from continuing on. And that was part of his power. And that was part of his draw. And that’s part of what made him bigger than life.

We don’t often do in memorials on this website, because it doesn’t always seem appropriate, although everybody comes with their stories. So with this post to Vinnie, who I was lucky enough to see on several occasions at Club LA and Blazefest, and who I’ve never heard a bad word about – I would like to invite you in the comments section to leave us a story about a musician who’s no longer here that’s most touched your life and most impacted your life.

Thank you guys for continually reading 850 Music & Entertainment. It means the world to us. It means the world that you continue to support musicians and support each other. Be good to each other.

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This entry was posted on July 2, 2018 by in Posts.
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