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What's Vinnie Doin' ?
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TOPIC: What's Vinnie Doin' ?

What's Vinnie Doin' ? 4 years ago #4497

By John Katsilometes

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | 4:13 p.m.
Click to enlarge photo

Karin Tomcik

At Double Down Saloon Ryan Martin, far right in checked shirt, texts friends about being in the same club as Vinnie Paul, far left at the bar.
Click to enlarge photo

Wicked Creative

Scott Ian of Anthrax meets up with Vinnie Paul, shown in November 2009.
Click to enlarge photo

Denise Truscello

Vinnie Paul is behind that mask.
Fifty-four seconds of Vinnie Paul

Most weeks, I never see Vinnie Paul. I have gone months and, yes, years without seeing Vinnie Paul.

But in a one-week span to close out the month of August, I saw Vinnie Paul -- a lot. Four times, every one of them at a late-night hang at a Vegas hotspot.

None of this was planned, either. At least not by me, but I can’t speak for Vinnie.

For the uninitiated, Vinnie Paul is best known as the co-founder of the storied heavy-metal band Pantera (storied, because many have written stories about Pantera). He also is the brother of late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell.

Vinnie lives in Las Vegas. I met him a couple of years ago when onetime Quiet Riot vocalist Paul Shortino organized an all-star band of metal players and to record a hard-rock version of “Send in the Clowns” for Carrot Top. They recorded the inventive cover of the tune so that the Topper could use the song in his show at the Luxor.

Not to belabor the obvious, Vinnie is not someone you necessarily bump into at, say, Vons or your neighborhood laundromat. But in a stretch of eight days ending Tuesday, he seemed everywhere:

Tuesday, Aug. 23: Vinnie and Shortino are introduced from the audience at the Frankie Moreno show at The Lounge at the Palms. When Moreno calls out Vinnie’s name, a woman sitting at the table behind me says, “Wow! Vinnie Paul is here! What are the odds of that?” As it turns out, pretty good. The two metal gods wave. Moreno then strides into the crowd and pushes the microphone at Vinnie, who says something akin to, “You rock, Frankie!”

Afterward, Vinnie holds court at the bar and poses for photos.

Wednesday, Aug. 24: Vinnie is spotted at Club Nikki at Tropicana. I know this because it is I who spots him. I walk over and say, “Hey, Vinnie! I saw you last night at the Lounge at the Palms.” He nods and says he will be joining Moreno onstage for Moreno’s next performance, playing “Come Together” with Moreno and his great backing band.

“Nice!” I say, not knowing what else to say to Vinnie Paul.

Vinnie then holds court at the bar and poses for photos.

Sunday, Aug. 28: Vinnie surfaces during a performance at Double Down Saloon by the percussive Vegas rock band Uberschall made up of current and former members of Blue Man Group. He shows up soon after the band’s hour-late 1 a.m. start time, as the performance is being recorded for some sort of band video.

Also in the audience are members of the Las Vegas band Avalon Landing, the drummer of which is Ryan Martin, an energized young man who is such a big Vinnie Paul fan that he nearly hyperventilates when realizing that the Pantera great is standing about 10 feet from him.

“Oh my God! Vinnie Paul! Oh my God!” said Ryan, who never does gather his bearings enough to actually say hello to Vinnie. “That’s him! Right there! Vinnie Paul!”

I say to Ryan, “You should come down to the Palms on Tuesday because Vinnie is going to play ‘Come Together’ with Frankie Moreno.”

Still jittery from the near miss with his percussion messiah, Ryan asks, “How do you know that?”

“He told me,” I say.

“Oh my God!” Ryan says.

During much of Uberschall’s first set, Vinnie holds court at the bar and poses for photos.

Tuesday, Aug. 30: Back at the Palms, Vinnie and Shortino amble onstage and perform a thunderous cover of “Come Together.” This performance is made all the more remarkable when you know that the Frankie Moreno Band was once the studio and touring band for Air Supply.

So, yes, Moreno has now performed live with Air Supply and the co-founder of Pantera. Versatility, thy name is Frankie.

Ryan never does make it to The Lounge at the Palms. I understand that Avalon Landing was in rehearsals. Whatever, he misses a chance to shake hands with Vinnie, who, after the show, holds court at the bar and poses for photos.

Until we meet again, Mr. Paul, rock on.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow "Kats With the Dish" at twitter.com/KatsWithTheDish.

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