Vinnie Paul Abbott's long-awaited cookbook will receive a posthumous release, his longtime girlfriend has confirmed.
Speaking out publicly for the first time since the PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer's death, Chelsey Yeager told Metal Pulp And Paper in a new interview: "[Vinnie's] cookbook that he titled 'Drumming Up An Appetite With Vinnie Paul' is in the works. There are over 120 recipes that are saved and pictures to follow that will be in the cookbook as well. Not sure on an exact date when it will be finished."
Chelsey also talked about what life has been like for her since Vinnie's passing. The musician died in June 2018 at his home in Las Vegas of dilated cardiomyopathy — an enlarged heart — as well as severe coronary artery disease, a heart condition. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg said Vinnie died of natural causes.
"I absolutely look at life differently," she said. "I'm not going to sugarcoat it. I did do some heavy drinking. I didn't want to leave the house. I was scared to leave; it would cause extreme anxiety. I went into immediate depression, and there were countless days I didn't want to get out of bed. I was so mentally drained the first months after his sudden death."
Referring to the 2004 death of Vinnie's brother Dimebag, Chelsey continued: "Vinnie didn't sit around and sulk every day over Dime's passing because he knew that's not what his brother wanted for him. I know that's not what he wants for me. I now truly understand his words, "don't sweat the small stuff; you got to keep on keeping on." He lived life to the fullest every day, there's no doubt about that, and it took me some time to realize it.'
Yeager said that she "felt instant anger" after Vinnie's passing because "the greatest man on earth and love of my life was taken from me suddenly, and there's nothing I could or can do to bring him back. It's still that way, but over the course of time, it's gotten a little easier. I still don't understand 'why me,' and I never will… In time, I have found some sort of peace. It's been a bumpy road to get to, but it's gotten easier. I'm at a point in my life where I now see a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not as bright, but it's there."
According to Chelsey, Dimebag's longtime girlfriend Rita Haney has been "a huge rock" for her. "She's the only one that truly understands every emotion that I feel and try to deal with," Chelsey said. "I truly see her as a big sister, and it's a bond I wouldn't trade. She's always there for me when I need her."
Back in 2016, Vinnie stated about his upcoming cookbook: "It's got a picture of me sitting behind the drum set. I'm holding two big, old turkey legs; those are otherwise known as drumsticks. And it's got a lot of really cool recipes that I came up with on my own; a lot of them my mom taught me when I was growing up; and just a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor, and it's just a lot of fun. It's not real serious."
Vinnie added: "A lot of people think cooking is throwing something in the microwave. It's really not. There's a passion to it. It's like playing music. If you love doing it, you really put everything you've got into it and want it to be special, and that's what we do."
According to TMZ, Vinnie Paul left the bulk of his estate to to Yeager and his best friend; Charles Jones got 38% while Chelsey walked away with 37%. The rest was split between Vinnie's tour manager (10%),drum tech (5%),producer (5%) and friend (5%). In addition, Vinnie gave his interest in Dimebag's estate to Haney.
A public memorial for Vinnie Paul was held on July 1, 2018 at Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas.
Before his death, Vinnie recorded the drum tracks for HELLYEAH's latest album, "Welcome Home", which arrived last September.