The July 1 public memorial for Vinnie Paul Abbott in Dallas, Texas included emotional tributes from a number of Vinnie's fellow musicians, some of whom appeared in person while others sent short video speeches expressing their affection for the fallen drummer. One musician who appeared via video was original BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward, who read a solemn poem he wrote for the PANTERA and HELLYEAH rocker. You can now watch Ward's message below.
According to the Forth Worth Star Telegram, the stage at "Vinnie Paul: A Public Celebration Of Life" was decorated with flowers from various rock stars and other celebrities, including Kid Rock, comedian Carrot Top, BLACK SABBATH's Geezer Butler and bands such as MEGADETH, ANTHRAX, DISTURBED, SLAYER and ALICE IN CHAINS. SABBATH singer Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, Sharon, sent an arrangement in the shape of a drum.
Vinnie Paul was buried on June 30 next to his brother, PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington, Texas. He was laid to rest in a custom "Kiss Kasket" provided by KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley as a gift to Vinnie's family. Vinnie was also buried in some of his trademark clothes, including his hat, shoes and flannel.
Speakers at the service included former GRIM REAPER guitarist Nick Bowcott, while among the attendees were original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, DISTURBED's David Draiman, NICKELBACK's Chad Kroeger, ANTHRAX's Charlie Benante, FOZZY's Chris Jericho and ROUGH CUTT's Paul Shortino.
Vinnie passed away on June 22 at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. The drummer's death "did not appear suspicious," according to the official police report. Sources close to Vinnie told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he suffered a "major heart attack," but that information has not been corroborated yet by an official source.