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Thousands Pay Respects To Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul In Dallas

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Thousands of fans gathered in Deep Ellum Sunday to pay their respects to legendary drummer and Pantera co-founder Vinnie Paul, who died in June.

The "Vinnie Paul Celebration of Life" at the Bomb Factory honored the lifelong resident of Arlington. He co-founded one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time.

The atmosphere at the celebration is what Paul knew best -- thousands of metal heads, dressed in black, fists in the air and screaming at full volume. It was only fitting that this is how fans celebrated his life and legacy.

"We're not mourning Vinnie. Of course, the world is sad that he's gone... but Vinnie's memory will live on through his music," said Guy Sykes, former Pantera tour manager.

Paul was 54 years old when he passed away in June, stunning the music world.

"To me, Vinnie was as solid as a rock. He is the last person I ever expected to hear somebody say he passed away suddenly, for no reason," said 97.1 The Eagle's Cindy Scull.

Paul formed Pantera with his brother, Dimebag Darrell. The band became one of the most recognized in the heavy metal community.

"Unfortunately, I never got to meet Vinnie Paul, but him and his brother Darrell had a huge impact on my life, when I was a kid," said Tony Ramirez.

The love for Paul in North Texas was so great that fans began gathering at the Bomb Factory at 12 p.m. Sunday under a blazing sun. It was worth it for fans who wanted to share fond memories of a rock legend who never forgot where he came from.

"He was friends with our hair stylist. She would tell us things and has pictures, and how personable he was and how the DFW music scene was a big deal to him. This was his home. This was his heart," said Michelle Harrison.

Paul is buried beside his mother Carolyn and his brother Darrell at Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington.

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