Vinnie Paul Remembers Meeting Eddie Van Halen
Like Van Halen, Pantera had a core comprised of brothers who played guitar and drums. In a recent Q&A, the drummer, Vinnie Paul, recalled the time he and his brother Dimebag Darrell met Eddie Van Halen.
After talking about how Van Halen inspired the two of them, Paul said that the meeting happened around 2004 at the Clubhouse, a strip club in Dallas that he owns. Pantera had broken up and the brothers had started Damageplan.
"He was in town and I was off doing something and my brother was in Phoenix," he said in the video above. "And my manager from the Clubhouse calls me and says, 'Hey, man, Eddie Van Halen is in the club and he wants to see you.' And I was, like, 'You've gotta be kidding me! He's in there?' [And he says] 'Yeah.' I hauled ass over, walked into the club, and he's sitting there at the table by himself waiting on me. I came in, and we gave each other a big hug [...] We'd been talking maybe 10 minutes, and he goes, 'You know, man?! It's crazy. We've only been talking, like, 10 minutes, but it's unbelievable how much we've got in common — you and your brother, and me and Al[ex Van Halen].' And it was an amazing thing that happened."
Van Halen had such a good time with Paul that he made sure they got together again when their schedules found them in the same city shortly thereafter, and this time Darrell got to meet him. "And then we had to fly out and play this thing called Locobazooka in Boston, and they had some shows, and [Eddie] wanted us to come and see him. And Eddie sent a limo to pick us up, which was very cool. And we came in, and he brought us right up on stage and hung out at soundcheck and everything. And the show was amazing. And I'll never forget. We got on the plane, and when we were flying back to Dallas, my brother looked at me, and he goes, 'Man, you know what? If this plane was to go down in a crash right now, I'd be okay with it. I finally got to meet the dude that made me wanna play guitar.' It was really special."
Unfortunately, Darrell never got another opportunity to hang out with Van Halen. Roughly 10 weeks later, he was murdered onstage in Columbus, Ohio. Van Halen sent the guitar he was playing on the back cover of Van Halen II to be buried with Darrell.
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