PANTERA's Rex Brown has shared a throwback photo of him with the band's late drummer Vincent "Vinnie Paul" Abbott, a week after it was confirmed Rex and singer Philip Anselmo will tour as PANTERA.
Earlier today (Wednesday, July 20), the bassist tweeted out what appears to be a late-1980s picture of him with Vinnie Paul on a small boat, and he included the following message: "Me & Vinnie Paul back in our boating adventure days!! Forgot to put the plug in one day & sunk that old monster…Grateful memories!!"
On July 14, it was confirmed that Anselmo and Brown, along with guitarist Zakk Wylde (OZZY OSBOURNE, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and drummer Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), will headline a number of major festivals across North America and Europe and stage some of their own headline concerts under the PANTERA banner.
According to Billboard, the lineup has been given a green light by the estates of the band's founders, Vinnie and guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, as well as Brown, who last year said Wylde wouldn't tour with PANTERA if a reunion were to happen. It's unclear what changed his mind.
Back in July 2017, less than a year before his death, Vinnie Paul slammed Rex's memoir as "a bunch of mythology" and once again ruled out the possibility of any kind of reunion of surviving PANTERA members. Asked about the way he was depicted in Brown's 2013 book, "Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera", in which the PANTERA bassist referred to Vinnie as "a strange person" who "was always all about the 'party, party, party'" but "only got laid maybe one out of ten times," the drummer told the "Rover's Morning Glory" syndicated radio show: "All I can say is that… I'll refer to Philip's comment about Rex's book. A bunch of mythology, man. We don't know where he came up with all this. More power to him, man."
Vinnie was also asked about his relationship with Anselmo, with whom he had not spoken since PANTERA split in 2003. Pressed about whether it was true that he indirectly blamed Philip for the death of Dimebag, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about the guitarist in print just weeks earlier might have incited the guitarist's killer, the drummer said: "I'm just gonna say I have no comment on any of that, man. I'm beyond PANTERA. I've done so many other things with my life since then. And I always believe if you live in the past, you have no future. So, man, I'm happy doing what I do with HELLYEAH, and I'm gonna leave it at that." French, at that point, asked Vinnie if we can safely assume that that there are no circumstances under which all the surviving members of PANTERA would ever get back together. Vinnie responded: "That's a pretty damn good assumption. Yeah, man. [Laughs]"
In a 2013 interview with MetalSucks, Anselmo was asked for his opinion of "Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera". He said: "Honestly, [Rex's] assessment of me [in the book] — I don't care. Egotistical, self-centered, everything is always about me. Y'know what? I'm a lead singer and he's a bass player. That's his perception. So I'm fine with it. I don't hold any fucking grudges. But I think he did take some angry swipes and I don't need to be specific. There is a great deal of mythology when it comes to his 'quitting' DOWN. That particular chapter is a little disturbing."
Anselmo also commented on the fact that Vinnie Paul was at times painted in a very negative light in Rex's book.
"I'm not sure that type of beating [on Vince] was necessary," Anselmo said. "Vince is a difficult guy and was always a different type of guy. But did he deserve that type of beating? I don't think so. It's a shame."
He continued: "Rex has many faults, just like anyone else. But it sure seems like he wants to put fault on other people to take away from his humanity. We're all full of faults. Maybe it's easier for some of us to admit."
Brown defended his comments about Vinnie Paul during a 2013 interview with the "Energize With Lonn Friend" podcast. After revealing that he sent his book to Anselmo and Vinnie Paul, the bassist said: "Apparently, Vinnie isn't very flattered by it. Vinnie, then, he can write his own fucking book, you know. With Philip, I haven't heard any rebuttals, but I didn't say anything in the book that wasn't already out there, you know what I'm saying?!"
He added: "I think the reason they haven't talked to me is 'cause it is the fucking truth. And sometimes you don't wanna tell the truth. And I didn't go out of my way to maliciously hurt any individual. But at the same time, if you're gonna tell the truth, by God, you'd better be on the skinny. And I think Mark Eglinton [Rex's co-author], that did this thing with me, he really just kind of…. He put me down… You know how you have your dreams that you had in high school when you're just… you're in your underwear. That's the way I felt with this book. If [you're] not [being completely truthful in your memoir], I think it's all a bunch of charade… And why would you wanna do that?"
On page 172 of "Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera", Brown had the following to say about Vinnie Paul: "You need to understand that Vinnie is just a strange person — that's all there is to it — and it's either his way or the highway. I think he got most of that asshole-ishness from his old man, because in many ways they are very much alike. Vinnie was always all about the 'party, party, party!' and 'eat that pussy!' type of shit — to the extent that he thought he was fucking David Lee Roth. And him a drummer, can you imagine? But the truth is that he only got laid maybe one out of ten times and that's if he was lucky. Being in a platinum-selling band is meant to be a head start when you're trying to score with chicks, but he negated that by having no idea whatsoever how to treat or approach a woman. He'd just walk up and immediately start groping them, so it was no surprise that his strike rate was so pitiful. He acted like meeting him was a sexual audition and that just turned them off straightaway." He continued: "And as if that wasn't bad enough, when he didn't get laid (ninety percent of the time, I'd estimate) he was the most miserable fucking guy on the planet. I just couldn't live with him. He'd walk in the room in the morning and I'd just know. He'd be all snappy and pissed off with everyone and there was nothing anyone could do to change his mood. That became really boring."
Vinnie passed away on June 22, 2018 at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 54. He died of dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. His death was the result of chronic weakening of the heart muscle — basically meaning his heart couldn't pump blood as well as a healthy heart.
Vinnie and his brother co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a troubled schizophrenic who believed that the members of PANTERA were stealing his thoughts.
Photo credit: Gibson