While on the “black carpet” at the fifth annual Revolver Golden Gods award show presented by Epiphone this past Thursday (May 2) at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California, members of METALLICA spoke about SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away earlier that day at the age of 49.
“Well, it’s always difficult when you lose a metal brother, especially one that grew up in your area, grew up in your time zone, [was part of the] same genre, [had the] same goals in life… same everything,” METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield told Artisan News (see video report below). “And to see someone go too early always sucks. It’s not the first time for us, but it’s never easy… never easy. And God bless him, and R.I.P. Jeff Hanneman.”
Added METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo: “I’ve gotta say Jeff Hanneman was an amazing human being. He was very low profile; he actually chose to lie low and just write some of the greatest riffs ever. So rest in peace, Jeff. We’re gonna miss you tremendously.”
Hanneman died at about 11 a.m. on Thursday (May 2) near his Southern California home. He 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.
Following recent live dates in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, METALLICA played a four-song set at Revolver Golden Gods — “Disposable Heroes”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “Rapid Fire” JUDAS PRIEST cover, featuring a guest appearance by PRIEST singer Rob Halford) and “Seek And Destroy” — where the group was also honored as “Golden Gods.”