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Farewell Jeff Hanneman

Founding Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died yesterday. He was 49. According to the band's official announcement, Hanneman died of liver failure. He was also battling necrotizing fasciitis, perhaps from a spider bite. Slayer released this statement via Facebook:

“Slayer is devastated to inform that their band mate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. He was 49. 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.”

In honor of Jeff, here's some classic Slayer.

Reader Comments (14)

Sad news, I thought he was getting better and would be back on stage.
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSnoot
For that style of music, an incredible lyricist. His contributions are going to be missed.
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHim
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarktown
A legendary band lost their legendary member. R.I.P.
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbkallday
Very sad. I heard about his illness when it first happened and it made me fear spider bites. How terrible.

May he rest in peace. Condolences to his family.

Life can turn on a dime. Don't take your health for granted.
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRita
This news really floored me when I heard about it yesterday. Slayer's music was such a big part of my life back in the 80s when thrash metal was still coming into its own. What is doubly sad to me is how the Slayer camp, (and by that I mean Kerry King), had basically written Hanneman off after he got sick. I hope that, in the coming days, we will see even a shred of human emotion out of King and crew for their fallen comrade.
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Slayer was never my thing, but a human life is a human life, & Jeff definitely died way too young, at 49. Condolences to his whole family & band. I'm not even going to speculate on whether his death will unify the remaining 3 original members, or blow the band apart, for good. Now is not the time.

I will share one little story from the early days of Slayer.
Back in 1982, in the little Orange County, CA city of Cypress, There were these 2 clubs in a stripmall, that sat side by side.

To the left, was "The Woodstock", which epitomized "dive bar/metal club", & to the right, "Radio City", which was slightly smaller,& had a little more decor, but still booked the same types of bands, except the thrash & punk bands, which the Woodstock would have more of.

On this particular night, Friday December 17th, 1982 Motley Crue took their first foray out of the Hollywood scene & played their first gig in Orange County at Radio City. 19 people, (including me,) showed up. Motley's members were more than a little pissed at the light turnout, prompting Vince to comment onstage "This is our first gig in Orange County...and I hope, our Last". To make matters worse, the stages of both clubs both backed up to the same common wall.

When Motley would finish a song, there'd be silence in the club... except for the barely muffled roar of the band & packed crowd of the band playing next door at the Woodstock...SLAYER.

Good Times... R.I.P. Jeff. Now he'll really find out if "Hell Awaits"... I hope not.
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele
Saw this last night and was shocked/saddened. Guy was exactly my age. RIP dude and thanks for some killer guitar playing and riffs.

And Ace. Great story dude!! If I ever get out to the "Left Coast" I'd love to hook up with ya and buy you dinner and a pile of beers and just listen to your stories from "back in the day". 8-).
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGary
VERY SAD indeed.. I had a chance to meet the band back in the 80's when they played a club called the Lost Horizon, Syracuse NY. I believe my memory serves me right, Overkill supported that show.. {I have a few pictures up on Facebook. Now I got thinking where the rest of them are.}

Ace, Thanks for the story..
May 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoy
Bob, I mean no disrespect here but . . . I think there was a lot more going on than just the spider bite with Hanneman.

And I think, as awkward and d-baggish as King came off in recent months (not to mention Araya's relatively flat responses to similar questions), he was actually protecting Hanneman's privacy as well as hedging his bets with Holt. The Lombardo thing? That was just their version of Ward, and actually a distraction.

The main thing everyone agree on: it is a huge loss for fans of metal, fans of Slayer's particular style of metal, and just sad that he is gone at the relatively early age of 49.
May 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHim
Though Slayer is not my cup of tea either, this is, no doubt, a huge loss for, not just the Metal Community, but all of humanity. Slayer's legendary status in Metaldom is undeniable and Jeff Hanneman's contribution to their legendary status is more than significant.

Metal Godspeed to the man and my Prayers go out to him, his family, friends and all his fans who loved him so dearly. Rock in peace, Metal Brother!

p.s. Probably a little late in the game, but I found out about these guys when I got that INSANE "Best of Metal Blade, Volume 1" compilation. I played it over and over on my Walkman and never ever skipped over Slayer! My fave Slayer song is the one they sespised the most -- their cover of Iron Butterfly's "Inna Gadda Da Vida" Rick Rubin forced em to do for the "Less Than Zero" Movie Soundtrack. Also, as I've mentioned here before, I saw Slayer open for The Ramones at Roseland Ballroom in NYC immediately following the release of "Reign in Blood"! Needless to say, they more than held their own in this unlikely pairing and whatever ya wanna say about it -- Who was better, etc., two things for sure... They were BOTH loud as sh*t and they were both BADASS!!! RIP, Jeff! May you shrewd in Metal Heaven forever!!!
May 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
The passing of Jeff Hanneman is definitely a sad day in the metal community. Although my tastes drifted more toward the type of hard rock and metal that was on display at the M3 show, there is no denying the raw power, ferocity, and overall talent of Slayer. I've seen them live 5-6 times over the years, and their live show is truly incredible. What they occasionally lack on CD, they more than make up for in concert!

Godspeed to a true talent, and thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.
May 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGator
Rest in peace Jeff, you were one of the driving forces of Slayer and made a HUGE impact on the metal community, on bands back then and even modern bands today. One of the greatest metal guitarists ever. Seasons In The Abyss is still way underrated, far better than Reign In Blood in my opinion. A metal legend, Rest In Peace
May 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdj
Sad to say this, but it turns out that the spider bit issue wasn't really at play in his passing:

Still, perhaps even more so, a tragic loss.
May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHim

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