At 11 AM, PST on May 2nd, SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away near his Southern California home; he was 49 years old. 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 his latest blog, MACHINE HEAD guitarist/vocalist Robb Flynn pays tribute:
"Still can't believe that Jeff Hanneman from Slayer is dead. Things like that just don't happen. Thrashers don't die??!! WTF!!??
"I'm not going to sit here and say how him and I were best buds or something; we definitely weren't, I'd barely call us acquaintances, I did 8 tours and over 120 shows with the dude and honestly, I never really got to 'know him'. I was always closer with Kerry (King). Jeff was super quiet, really kept to himself, would get rowdy when he was drunk, but was a bit aloof, and seemed annoyed at the people partying around him despite the fact that he himself would be getting hammered.
"I can remember some good hangs with him, though. The first was in Basel, Switzerland back in November, 1994 when Machine Head was main support to Slayer on the Divine Intervention tour. It was one of those shows were something so random happens, it just never leaves you, in this case, the show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes and every kid entering the show got 2 free packs of smokes. I've never seen so much smoke in a venue in my life. I remember walking onstage and yelling at our roadie / everything-guy Mike Scum, 'DUDE, turn off the fuckin' smoke machine,' he said 'YOOOOO, it's not the smoke machine, bro, it's the cigarettes!' It was damn near impossible to breathe onstage.
"After the show, we were hanging backstage and Jeff walked back, we started bitching about the crazy cigarette show, and he invited me back to the dressing room to grab a beer. We sat down and chatted for a while, and then I went all Slayer-nerd on him and started grilling him on what songs he wrote.
Me: 'Who wrote 'Angel Of Death'?'
Jeff: 'I did'
Me: 'Lyrics too?'
Me: 'Raining Blood'?'
Me: 'Dead Skin Mask'?'
Me: 'South Of Heaven'?'
Me: 'Black Magic'?'
Jeff: 'You know it'
Me: 'Hell Awaits'?'
"On and on it went, that man wrote both the music and lyrics to a large goddamn portion of my favorite Slayer songs. He was a huge influence on my songwriting growing up, in particular with arrangements and the bold use of key changes. The one thing Slayer band always had over so many other bands is they were all over the guitar neck when it came to key changes. Leads would be in some of the most random keys ever, but somehow it made it all that much more frantic, and when the chorus kicked back in, BOOM! CRUSHING! Set up perfectly. He was one of the few metal heads I met who never really got into PANTERA, he told me he 'liked some stuff,' but thought they were 'too bluesy at times,' and that he 'liked more evil notes or sad riffs'."
Read more at this location
Below is a tiny sample of the other tributes and condolences that have appeared online:
MEGADETH frontman Dave Mustaine: "We send our condolences and deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and fans of Jeff Hanneman. Our hearts go out to his brothers in Slayer. Tonight one less star will be shining and sadly, the stage got just a little bit darker. Jeff Hanneman 1964-2013."
Neil Portnow - President/CEO The Recording Academy - “Two-time Grammy winner Jeff Hanneman was an intense and powerful guitarist and a force to be reckoned with on stage. A founding member of the legendary metal band Slayer, he was a key architect in their ferocious and uncompromising sound, which earned the band legions of loyal followers, tremendous respect among their peers, and a lasting impact on the genre. The music industry has lost a true trailblazer, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, his bandmates and fans around the world who mourn his untimely passing.”
TESTAMENT - "R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman, brother in thrash."
METALLICA - "R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman"
HATEBREED - "We are extremely saddened by the news of Jeff Hanneman's passing. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, fans and the entire Slayer camp & their road crew. We would not be the band we are today without him & Slayer. Rest In Peace Jeff!"
Former ANTHRAX guitarist Dan Spitz - "Changing the world through music isn't easy... Mission accomplished. Glad to be a part of all we did together through the years. RIP Jeff Hanneman."
DOWN - "Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013)"
ANVIL - "Anvil send their condolences to the Slayer and the Jeff Hanneman family. R.I.P."
SUFFOCATION - "Rest in Peace Jeff Hanneman you will surely be missed."
BIF NAKED - "We are Forever Devoted Fans!! Blessings to Jeff's Family, to Slayer and crew, and to the millions of fans all over the world. LIFE IS TOO SHORT! We are so grateful to Jeff Hanneman for all the inspiration. Blessings. Namaste. Om Hare Om."
Former NASHVILLE PUSSY bassist Karen Cuda - "Jeff Hanneman - I'm at a loss for words. Thanks for always laughing at my dumb jokes, thanks for your generosity in donating a bunch of signed Slayer stuff to help me with my neck surgery costs, thanks for making my bandmate so happy. I'm so sad to hear you're gone! RIP buddy. (And for anyone inclined please stop by the Nashville Pussy page and send Ruyter some love. Her heart is no doubt broken to pieces.)"
MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson - "My condolences to Slayer and the Jeff Hanneman family today."
HELLYEAH - "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hanneman Family and Slayer. R.I.P. Our Friend"
IN FLAMES - "We are so devasted to hear about the passing of Jeff Hanneman. One of the greatest have passed on and please, stop for a moment and pay your respect to this fantastic man. This is a tragedy."
SLASH bassist Todd Kerns - "Sad news about Jeff Hanneman. He was a good man."
A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH - "Our thoughts are with the Hanneman family! #Slayer #GodSpeed"