LAMB OF GOD's RANDY BLYTHE Remembers VINNIE PAUL: 'He Always Treated Me And The Guys In My Band Like Family'

LAMB OF GOD's RANDY BLYTHE Remembers VINNIE PAUL: 'He Always Treated Me And The Guys In My Band Like Family'

Randy Blythe has paid tribute to Vinnie Paul Abbott, saying that the former PANTERA drummer "always treated" him and the rest of LAMB OF GOD "like family."

Vinnie Paul died on Friday in Las Vegas, where he owned a home. He was 54 years old. No cause of death has yet been revealed.

The LAMB OF GOD frontman, who spent five weeks in a Czech Republic prison in 2012 on charges of manslaughter for killing a fan (he was later acquitted), took to his Instagram late last night to express his sadness over Vinnie Paul's death and to thank the drummer for doing him "a very solid favor" when he was "in some very serious legal trouble."

Randy wrote: "Very sad news this evening. This man always treated me and the guys in my band like family. From the very first time we ever met him with his brother at a DAMAGEPLAN gig in Texas — whether backstage at a show, on his crazy tour bus, at his club, at his house, he was always a gracious host to us. He just wanted people around him to be happy.

"I didn't see Vinnie much the last time we played a gig together because I heard he was in a very foul mood; this was highly unusual for him. Why was he in a foul mood? Because we were playing a big festival in Chicago, he had bought a TON OF FOOD to grill in the parking lot for everyone (as usual) and the fire marshall came and shut him down before he could start the barbeque. That's the type of dude he was — he just wanted to make sure people were having a good time, and he took steps to make that happen. He also did me a very solid favor when I was in some very serious legal trouble a while back by writing a detailed letter to a judge explaining what had happened to his brother and the need for good stage security. That wasn't an easy thing for him to do, but he did it anyway because he was a true friend and knew I needed some help. I'll never forget that, and I made sure he knew I appreciated it. He also never minded when I got in his face with my camera — I took this photo with a 50mm fixed lens at a festival we were playing with HELLYEAH in Iowa in 2016 — that means I was basically inside his drum kit. When he saw me poking my head in there, he just turned, flashed me this grin and kept on rocking.

"I love this photo — Big Vin smiling and doing what he did best.

"Rest in peace, Vinnie Paul. You'll be missed. BIG LOVE."

Very sad news this evening. This man always treated me & the guys in my band like family, from the very first time we ever met him with his brother at a Damageplan gig in Texas– whether backstage at a show, on his crazy tour bus, at his club, at his house, he was always a gracious host to us. He just wanted people around him to be happy. I didn’t see Vinnie much the last time we played a gig together because I heard he was in a very foul mood– this was highly unusual for him. Why was he in a foul mood? Because we were playing a big festival in Chicago, he had bought a TON OF FOOD to grill in the parking lot for everyone (as usual), & the fire marshall came and shut him down before he could start the bar-b-que. That’s the type of dude he was– he just wanted to make sure people were having a good time, & he took steps to make that happen. He also did me a very solid favor when I was in some very serious legal trouble a while back by writing a detailed letter to a judge explaining what had happened to his brother & the need for good stage security– that wasn’t an easy thing for him to do, but he did it anyway because he was a true friend and knew I needed some help– I’ll never forget that, & I made sure he knew I appreciated it. He also never minded when I got in his face with my camera– I took this photo with a 50mm fixed lens at a festival we were playing with Hellyeah in Iowa in 2016– that means I was basically inside his drum kit. When he saw me poking my head in there, he just turned, flashed me this grin, & kept on rocking. I love this photo– Big Vin smiling and doing what he did best. Rest In Peace, Vinnie Paul. You’ll be missed. BIG LOVE.

A post shared by D. Randall Blythe (@drandallblythe) on

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