Among the speakers paying their respects via video link during the public memorial for Vinnie Paul this past Sunday (July 1) was Matt Cameron, who remembered the ex-Pantera and Hellyeah drummer by saying in part, "He had so much charisma onstage."
The Soundgarden and Pearl Jam drummer shared a bill with Paul when Soundgarden was on the middle slot between headliners Skid Row and Pantera during the former's Slave to the Grind tour in early 1992.
"We had the difficult task of following Pantera," Cameron says in the video below from the memorial, beginning at about the 1:13:30 mark. "I had never seen them at that point before 1992, and at that time, I was pretty confident with my band; I wasn't really intimidated that easily. But after watching Pantera smoke us, I was a little intimidated. And I was in awe of the band."
Cameron then recalled how he got up the courage to go talk to the band following the performance.
"After the show, I kind of sheepishly went up to Phil [Anselmo] and Rex [Brown], and I introduced myself. And they were total sweethearts; they could not have been nicer. They invited me on the bus, and I met Darrell and then Vinnie. Darrell rolled a big fatty, Vinnie gave me a beer… They were really hospitable guys. And I just remember that being a life lesson where I decided to stick my tail between my legs and go meet the masters."
The public memorial for Paul was held at the Bomb Factory in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas, Texas, beginning at 3:33 PM. Fans who attended "Vinnie Paul: A Public Celebration Of Life" saw many of Paul's peers, including Megadeth's Dave Mustaine and Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains also paid their respects via video link. Read Cameron's full statement below.
News broke last Friday night (June 22) that Paul had died at the age of 54. An official cause of death has yet to be revealed.