Vinnie Paul's In-Store Session For Rebel Meets Rebel In Ottawa

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Friday, July 14, 2006 @ 3:03 PM

Vinnie Paul Discusses His New

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Just a couple of blocks up from where Steve's music store is located on Rideau Street used to sit the infamous Capital theatre which hosted several live bands over its decades-long history with one of the bands being Damageplan back in 2004 - and for some reason their Ottawa show being their only live show reviewed on KNAC.COM. Ever. Mind-boggling on all levels especially given the amount of hype over the band that followed in the wake of Pantera's very-publicized breakup and the incomprehensible murder of Dimebag Darrell that followed just months afterwards.

Sadly, the theatre, much like Dimebag and Damageplan, is also itself a mere memory, having been demolished back in January to make way for one of three new condominium projects right in the heart of downtown which if anything will be helping to push out the convenience of downtown elsewhere and turning the downtown core into yet another suburb. It was something along the lines of that subject I was discussing with about 2 other people who were waiting in line with me that day to get a chance to chat with Vinnie Paul between 3:30 and 5:30 PM that day. Initially I was under the impression that it was a drum clinic that he was hosting and I was eager to blow off my usual Monday evening run with the Hash House Harriers after my floor installation class whereas one of the guys next to me in between debating music had to make up an excuse for coming in late to work (with work being out in Gloucester - a good 45 minutes on the bus). It turned out to be a basic meet-and-greet with the drummer who was also promoting Rebel Meets Rebel, his latest musical project.

The lineup itself was a good hundred people long and having arrived at 4 PM it didn't look promising that I'd be able to get in, get my Pantera CD signed and quickly split afterwards to check to see where I was running that day. I was even wearing a wifebeater with the emblem of the Hash House Harriers' Madrid chapter complete with a bull's head on the front in some sort of vain attempt to see what Vinnie would say about it or at the very least wonder if I was Texan myself or something - it was pretty much my way of inadvertedly giving the Ottawa Hash House Harriers some sort of free publicity among the metal community in a way. Luckily Vinnie Paul's musicianship and reputation of being social with the fans is matched only by his perserverance and gratitude to his fans because despite 5:30 nearing close that day he persuaded the staff at Steve music's store to stay a good 45 minutes extra so that he could sign everyone's autographs that day.

So, coming to my meeting with Vinnie himself....cordial and reeking of awesomeness albeit a bit brief. It was perfect because it meant that I could say how much of an influence Pantera had on my playing (let's ignore the fact that I'm an on-off bass player here for a minute - it is Vinnie fucking Paul I'm meeting with here) and hype up my review of Damageplan live in Ottawa without having to tell him for the millionth time about how sorry we all are for having lost Dimebag back in December of 2004. Turns out he did read my review after all and appreciated the kind words and the honest review (seriously, again, how was it that I was the only person to immortalize Damageplan's live performance on KNAC? Not that I don't mind the exposure but was I, like, the only person who bought New Found Power and actually enjoyed it?) before signing my copy of Cowboys From Hell and handing me a bag of Sabian promotional swag (stickers, posters, a magazine, etc.). I wished him well with Rebel Meets Rebel - which is a pretty good listen in itself beyond the release tracks like "Get Outta My Life" and "Nothin' To Lose" - and told him that hopefully it'll pick up where Damageplan abruptly left off. He thanked me for the support and we left it at that. I even managed to make it on time to my run that day although with me being the only person in the whole group that's in his very early 30's it's a moot point to determine how grateful they were that one of the most influential and important heavy metal drummers of the last 15 years heard of our running group whose Ottawa chapter alone has been around for as long as Pantera itself has been. Back in the day Dimebag Darrell had drinking and running down to a fine art to begin with anyway if you've ever seen either Pantera or Damageplan live and while "Cowboys From Hell" won't be replacing the standard drinking/hashing classics like "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" or "When It's Hog Calling Time In Nebraska" anytime soon it's still good to know that in some strange ironic twist hashing and the legacy of Pantera are intricately intertwined with each other through social drinking and having a good time.

Truly goddamn electric.

P.S.: As an added incentive, The Ottawa Citizen's Lynn Saxberg managed to score an interview with Vinnie Paul that same day and whatever my review of the meet-and-greet missed that day - and it was quite a lot - can be read here.

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