Yesterday was a very sad day for those of us who love heavy music, as Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and co-founder of Slayer died at 49 of liver failure, possibly related to a spider bite and resulting necrotizing fasciitis.
Hanneman had a great interest in WWII history because his grandfather, a German, fought for the US. Slayer has been accused of being Satanists and Nazi sympathizers because he explored this interest in his lyrics – when asked about Angel of Death, a song about Josef Mengele, he said: “Nothing I put in the lyrics says he’s a bad man. Isn’t that obvious? I shouldn’t have to tell you that.”
I don’t know how many times I saw Slayer, but it’s probably more than any other band. Nothing compares. Slayer has been part of my soundtrack for more than 25 years, and this is a pretty big loss. They have been touring with Gary Holt (Exodus) filling in, I wonder if they continue.
A couple of Hanneman tunes that stand out:
And possibly my favorite Slayer song:
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