Doing what I do is often bittersweet. There is also an amount of heartbreak that sometimes comes along with it.
I just got word today that Attila bassist Vincent Paul Manfredi just recently passed away.
I did not know Vincent very well, we had only started talking earlier this when we began work on the Attila reissue project. Since first speaking with him we would have several long conversations. He would tell me Attila stories, stories about doing gigs with Bon Jovi, Ratt, and countless other bands. He would also tell me about parties with guys from Maiden, Richie Blackmore, and countless others; I loved the stories and just set back and took it all in.
Vinny seemed like a super nice guy. From the first conversation with him, you would feel like you had known him for years. He seemed so positive and outgoing. And he was just enamored with the thought that anyone wanted to talk to him and be his friend.
I will never forget in one of our earliest talks the man starting to cry from being so overwhelmed that anyone was interested in something he did 30-years ago, in reference to the Attila ‘Rolling Thunder’ album. One cannot help but be at a loss for words in such a moment as a man shares these feelings.
As many of you know a project was under way to re-issue Attila ‘Rolling Thunder’. I was working closely with Vinny on this project. I still have in my possession the box he sent me containing all of his Attila memorabilia, contracts, photos, and dust from his time in Attila and other bands; a man’s career in a box. And as I look at it now I can’t help to keep hearing something he said in a conversation a month ago, “this project gives me a reason to live”. I’m not sure how to describe the feeling I have when recalling that. But I do know he was looking forward to this, referring to it as his swan song.
But perhaps he had already had played that tune. Vincent left this life knowing that his name and music was known around the world and that he had countless fans that he was only beginning to discover.
He will be missed by many; family, friends, and fans. I only wish I had a chance to know him better.
Rest in peace, my friend.