Metal Injection West Coast correspondent Johnny Orlando Jr. attended last Thursday’s (May 23) public memorial celebration for SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California. You can now watch his five-minute video report below.
Check out photos of the event:
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.