The Jeff Hanneman Memorial Celebration will take place on Thursday, May 23 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-in basis (subject to venue capacity). All ages are welcome, and paid parking will be available around the venue.
Members of SLAYER released a statement on Thursday (May 9) saying that Hanneman died of alcohol-related cirrhosis.
The guitarist had actually not been playing with SLAYER for more than two years since he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard in January 2011. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman‘s arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.
Hanneman‘s last appearance with SLAYER was in April 2011, when he played an encore with the band at the “Big Four” concert in Indio, California.
Hanneman recalled in a 2011 interview with Classic Rock magazine that he initially didn’t even feel the spider bite, adding, “But an hour later, I knew that I was ill. I could see the flesh corrupting. The arm was real hot. I got to the emergency room, and thank god the nurse knew straight away what it was . . . At that point, I was an hour away from death.”
SLAYER was founded in 1981 in Los Angeles and went on to become one of most popular bands of the speed/thrash metal movement, eventually being considered one of the “Big Four” alongside METALLICA, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX.
While never a band that got any substantial radio airplay, the group has long been considered a major influence on the metal genre and acclaimed as one of the best live metal acts of the past 30 years.
SLAYER guitarist Kerry King received a huge ovation from the crowd at the Revolver Golden Gods awards show on May 2 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, where he said that Hanneman would have wanted “noise” rather than a moment of silence and then drank two shots in his bandmate’s honor.
Photo credit: Andrew Stuart