"I will always have love in my heart for you," said ex-Pantera singer Phil Anselmo.
Friends, family and former band mates gathered at the Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas, on Sunday (July 1) to pay tribute to late Pantera/Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. The legendary hard rocker passed away in his sleep on June 22 in Las Vegas at age 54 and the public memorial featured a video tribute from former Pantera singer Phil Anselmo, who had been estranged from Abbott for years.
In his first comments on Abbott's death, Anselmo said, "Vince, always have love in my heart for you, man. Rest in peace."
Abbott's brother, Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott, was fatally shot on stage during a Damageplan show in 2004. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, several thousand people were on hand for the Vinnie Paul Celebration Life, waiting in triple-digit heat in a line that snaked for more than two blocks to attend the event that paid tribute to the rocker's "big heart, generous spirit and love music."
Abbott's drum kit from his most recent band, Hellyeah, was on display on a stage with flowers sent by a number other musicians and bands, including Kid Rock, Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, Slayer, Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Disturbed, Megadeth, comedian Carrot Top and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, who sent an arrangement in the shape a drum. Along with several radio personalities, the event featured tributes from pro wrestler Chris Jericho, former KISS drummer Peter Criss, Overkill drummer Jason Bitner, Sammy Hagar, Five Finger Death Punch bassist Chris Kael and members Drowning Pool.
Later in the night Anthrax's Charlie Benante and Lamb God's Chris Adler played Abbott's drum kit. Abbott was buried in a private service on Saturday (June 30).