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Slayer announced on Thursday (May 2nd) that founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away at around 11:00 a.m. that day at the age of 49 near his Southern California home. A statement from the band said, "Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed."


Hanneman had actually not been playing with the band 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.
  • It is not clear whether the cause of his death was linked to his struggle with the flesh-eating infection.
  • 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 was founded in 1981 by guitarist Kerry King and drummer Dave Lombardo, with Hanneman and frontman Tom Araya joining later.
  • The group started out playing Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Deep Purple covers around Southern California before writing original material.
  • Slayer signed to Metal Blade Records in 1983 and released its debut disc, Show No Mercy, in December of that year.
  • In 1986, they became the first rock act to sign to Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin's Def Jam Records, primarily a hip-hop label. The band's first effort for the label, Reign In Blood, is still widely considered the greatest thrash metal album of all time and was Slayer's first gold album.
  • The band has released a total of 11 studio albums.

INTERNET COMMENTS at Loudwire -- agree or not?

Mulambo Jason wrote: "A sad day for music!! One of the greatest guitar players of my time. Grew up listening to his solos!! R.I.F.P JEFF!!! You will be missed!!!! S L A Y E R!!!!"

Aidan Curtis-Johnson wrote: "im still in shock i can't believe this is real, R.I.P Jeff thanks for the music man."

Acacio Carvalho wrote: "WTF?! Didn't expect to read that! Very sad news."

Mike Lemen wrote: "A very sad day in metal..he was one of the best...R.I.P. Jeff..prayers for your family."

Read more at BlabbermouthLoudwireRevolverUltimate Classic Rock, Classic Rock, Noisecreep, SpinnerRolling Stone, Billboard and NME

Read about his life at Loudwire and check out a rememberance video at Blabbermouth

Check out other rockers at Blabbermouth, Loudwire, RevolverUltimate Classic Rock, Rolling Stone, Billboard and NME

Read what other rockers have to say Metallica (Read more at Loudwire), SlashDave Mustaine, David Ellefson, David Draiman, Philip Anselmo with David Ellefson and Zakk Wylde, Scott Ian of Anthrax,  Anthrax drummer, Machine Head frontman, Testament guitarist (Read more at Loudwire), Fear Factory's Dino Cazares, Kreator frontman, Arch Enemy singer, former In Flames guitarist, Tourniquet drummer and Immolation

Blabbermouth reports Slayer's Kerry King leads "Moment Of Noise" in honor of Jeff Hanneman

Loudwire reports Phil Anselmo, Corey Taylor and more reflect on Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman at Revolver Golden Gods.  Read more at  Blabbermouth and Billboard

Check out what members of Slayer say at Loudwire  Read more at Blabbermouth on Slayer drummer on Jeff Hannerman's death: "I'm Deeply Saddened, Shocked And Speechless" and Blabbermouth on Gary Holt on Jeff Hannaman It's Been An Honor To Try My Best To Honor Your Songs Best I Could  Read more at Classic Rock

Blabbermouth posts an interview with Dave Lombardo one day before Jeff Hanneman's passing  Read more at Loudwire

Blabbermouth reports partial Pantera reunion at "Revolver Golden Gods" dedicated to Jeff Hanneman  Read more at Loudwire

Blabbermouth reports Slayer guitarist was killed by "God," says Westboro Baptist Church

Blabbermouth reports Westboro Baptist Church to sing "Crazy Train" parody at Jeff Hanneman's Funeral

Blabbermouth reports Los Angeles Kings hockey team pays tribute to fallen Slayer guitarist

Blabbermouth posts Australia's "Distortion" radio show pays tribute to Slayer's Jeff Hanneman

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