The news hit the Metal Community late Thursday en masse it seemed with the sad report that Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman had passed away. I was sitting in Duke’s Bar having a little bit of supper when my phone started blowing up with texts and emails about the news and some others asking if I could confirm what people were hearing. Sadly, this was indeed true and the bands official statement read as follows
“Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.”
Jeff Hanneman was born Jeffrey John Hanneman in 1964 and as many know full well was a founding member of the legendary Thrash Metal band Slayer. As a guitarist Hanneman was very influenced by the speed and pace of the Punk scene and this helped formulate the style that he would bring to a larger than life sense in the mighty Slayer. The diehard fans might not need a reminder of this but to take a piece from his Wikipedia entry “Hanneman had contributed both lyrical and musical material to every Slayer album and wrote the songs “Raining Blood”, “War Ensemble”, “South of Heaven”, “Seasons in the Abyss” and “Angel of Death”, which are played at almost every live Slayer show”. Sadly Jeff Hanneman would withdrew from his active touring schedule sometime in early 2011 after he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, which is a debilitating skin disorder. It was widely reported that this was the result of a spider bite that had happened while on tour somewhere in South America. By 2012, there were interviews with Tom Araya who had spoke of Jeff’s recovery from the disease but later in February 2013, Kerry King revealed that he was still dealing with continuing health problems that were keeping him from being an on tour active part of Slayer. When Jeff passed away yesterday morning it was in a hospital near his home and of liver failure but so far there is no information as to whether or not this initial disease had contributed to what caused his death. Whatever the case may be it is still a shame and was news that crushed the larger Heavy Metal community whether they be musicians or worldwide fans.
Personally speaking I got into Slayer much later than my friends did. I leaned more toward the glittery stuff for awhile but had a heavy band and they all really enjoyed Slayer. Once I started listening to it a little more at their suggestion I got much more into it. I technically started my listening exposure to the band with what they had on “Hell Awaits” but it would not be until “Seasons In The Abyss” that I would actually go out and buy my own Slayer music. These two shots in the memorial were shot by me of Jeff in concert with Slayer. One from 2006 and another from 2007. I did not shoot the band a lot but was glad I had the chance to in the end. Jeff Hanneman is a figure in Thrash Metal legend and one that will never ever be forgotten. May he Rest In Peace.
Memorial thoughts are always welcome on our postings of this nature. What did Jeff Hanneman mean to you as a Metal fan or even a musician. I will leave the comments open for your submissions.