Photo Credit, Dirt Junior
This Thursday’s memorial to fallen Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died of liver failure earlier this month, was a sad but celebratory affair. Hosted at the Hollywood Palladium by Grim Reaper’s Nick Bowcott, fans, who had begun lining up outside the venue as early as 6am that day to pay tribute to Hanneman, filled the venue close to capacity. Programs were handed out, as well as laminates and commemorative guitar picks to all who attended.
The show, which was scheduled to start at 3.30pm sharp, began in true rock ‘n roll fashion, over an hour late and was attended by many rockstar alumni such as Dave Navarro, John 5, Machine Head’s Robb Flynn, Testament’s Chuck Billy and his wife, Dave Lombardo, Paul Bostaph, Gene Hoglan, Gary Holt, members of Suicide Silence, Children of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho, and more, all of whom came to pay their respects to Hanneman. However, there was one noticeable muso missing from the guestlist – Slayer’s own Tom Araya.
Attendees were treated to speeches, some heartwrenching, some simply stories about drinking with the man, by Brian Slagel, president of Metalblade Records, Shavo Odadjian of System of A Down, Robert Trujillo of Metallica speaking partly on behalf of producer Rick Rubin, members of the music industry including Dino Paredes of American Recordings, Slayer’s management team and of course, Hanneman’s cohort in crime, the man himself, Kerry f$%king King. “We’ve got a lot of history in this joint,” said King, “me and Jeff got banned from this place for at least 20 years so it’s kind of ironic we’re having this here.” “Unlike myself, Jeff hated Jager,” he continued later toasting to Hanneman with his cup, “but I had to come up here with something to cheers to my lost friend.”
The service was completed with a slideshow showing Hanneman at various stages of his life, including many photos of his time with Slayer, set to a soundtrack of at first Metallica, and then Slayer’s “South of Heaven” and “Reign in Blood” which sent the gathered crowd into a frenzy of multiple circle pit action, a more than fitting way to send off the legendary riff-maker, guitar-player and original founding member of the one and only Slayer.
Check out our VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS of the service.