The NHL hockey team the Los Angeles Kings, which is currently in the first round of the playoffs, paid tribute to SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman on Saturday (May 4) by playing the song “Spirit In Black” from the band’s “Seasons In The Abyss” album as the warmup music for their game.
Asked in a 2011 interview with Revolver magazine how he felt about the fact that SLAYER‘s song “Raining Blood” has been embraced in the sports world, Hanneman said: “Yeah. I finally heard it, God, they played it in a hockey arena. I couldn’t believe that. I love hockey, and I go to a lot of the games. And I was like, ‘Why don’t they ever play SLAYER?’ And then they finally played ‘Raining Blood’, and I was like, ‘Yes!'”
Hanneman died on Thursday, May 2 near his Southern California home. He was 49. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure.
Hanneman had been on hiatus from SLAYER since early 2011, when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that doctors believed might have been caused by a spider bite. Hanneman almost lost his arm, and was briefly placed in a medically induced coma. After a series of skin grafts, he had been working on his physical rehabilitation. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry.