Friends and colleagues still reeling from the sudden death of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman have spoken of their loss.
Hanneman, who passed away yesterday at age 49 from liver failure at a Southern Californian, hospital was much respected in the global metal community. As the principal songwriter for the Californian thrash band he and best friend and fellow guitarist Kerry King formed in 1981, most would say was the driving force behind Slayer.
On hiatus from the band since 2011 after contracting the flesh eating disease necrotizing fasciitis caused by a suspected spider bite, Exodus guitarist and long time friend Gary Holt had been filling in for him on stage during his recovery. A heartbroken Holt said yesterday, “I’m at a loss for words. The news yesterday of Jeff’s passing hit me like a ton of bricks. Totally devastating sadness is all I have right now. ‘In shock’ are words I can come up with to describe how I’m feeling.
Jeff, it’s been an honor, my brother, to TRY my best to honor your songs best I could. There is only one Jeff Hanneman. All I ever could HOPE to do was play those songs you wrote with the conviction with which you played and wrote them, ’cause there is only one of you; that mold was broken long ago.”
Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo took to Twitter to reveal “I’m deeply saddened, shocked and speechless. It’s difficult for me to write my feelings at this moment. My heart goes out to Kathy Hanneman.”
During yesterday’s 5th annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards held in Los Angeles, Kerry King asked the crowd to join him in a “moment of noise” followed by a toast in Hanneman’s honour. “He was not one for a moment of fucken silence” he told the crowd raising a glass, “Jeff wants a moment of fucken noise” “You got a drink? raise it up. You got a fist? raise it up and tip one back to our fallen brother” The crowd then whipped into a cheer, holding their horns high while others applauded and chanted “Slayer, Slayer”.
A fitting moment to a man that will remain in the hearts of everyone he influenced.