A photo tribute to late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman by photogapher Kevin Estrada can be found at this location. It consists of photos from this past Thursday’s (May 23) public memorial celebration for Hanneman at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California as well as photos of Jeff and SLAYER that Kevin took between 1984 and 2010.
Says Kevin: “I started shooting SLAYER in 1984… and in that time, I became close with the band. From sneaking my camera into the club shows to becoming a co-producer on the ‘Soundtrack To The Apocalypse’ box set — it has been a great ride. But this one hit hard.
“At [Jeff's] celebration, every snap of my camera brought me closer and closer to the end of a big chapter in my life.
“I know SLAYER will go on — in one form or another — but there is such a sense of unwanted closure. It is hard to put in words — so I am giving you a little taste of what SLAYER gave me over the years.
“Thank you Tom, thank you Kerry, thank you Dave, thank you Paul and Jon… and lastly — thank you Jeff, and farewell.”
Members of SLAYER released a statement on May 9 saying that Hanneman died of alcohol-related cirrhosis. He is credited for writing many of the band’s classic songs, including “Angel Of Death” and “South Of Heaven”.
The guitarist, who passed away in Los Angeles on May 2, 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.”
Hanneman was well known for his aversion to the spotlight, avoiding interviews and even turning off his phone when he was not on tour to spend time with his family. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry.
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.
SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo sat out the band’s recent Australian tour due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. Filling in for him was Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX).