The heavy metal community suffered a big loss yesterday with the death of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman. He was only 49 years old. Back in 2011 he got the flesh eating disease and nearly lost an arm. He underwent a few surgeries and other stuff like skin graph. He never fully recovered and he ended up dying from liver failure. It is not exactly clear if him developed the flesh eating disease was the final cause of his death but regardless it is still a loss for the metal community.
I've listened to Slayer since I was a teenager so about 22 years or so. I wouldn't say I am a huge fan of them but I do enjoy a lot of their music. Some of their songs helped me deal with being angry. There were plenty of times when I was anger that I would turn on the song "Raining Blood". When I am angry songs that are aggressive help me deal with my anger. Just like depressing songs help me with depression.
Finding out about Jeff passing away was a bit of a shock to me and yeah it had some effect on me. Yes I did not know the guy in real life but I do think of Slayer as one of my musical influences. I'll be honest the list of my musical influences is pretty long. Some people feel that if they don't know the guy in real life and he is a celebrity then there is no reason to be upset. I see their point in that but it is easy to have someone in music, movies, tv, etc be an influence to you even if you don't really know them in real life. This is why people take it so hard when someone that they have listened to for a long time passes away. Honestly this is the first death in music that made me really stop and think wow they really won't be around playing music anymore. I was a bit upset when I had heard the news and I'll admit to shedding a tear or two when on the Revolver Golden Gods awards they were sharing stories and dedicating stuff to Jeff Hanneman. Life goes on though and ultimately people die everyday and we can not escape it. Instead of mourning remember whatever greatness the person did when they were alive.
Music has lost some great people in the past few years. Well in general. Think back to even before I really was into music. Jimi Hendrix back in the day. Jim Morrison. Randy Rhodes from Ozzy when I was like three years old. 1986 Cliff Burton the bassist from Metallica was killed in an accident. Even though I did not start listening to Metallica until 1990 I consider Cliff Burton to be one of the best bassist ever. Kurt Cobain in 1994. I liked Nirvana a lot. His death was a huge loss for music. Layne Staley in 2002. Again Alice in Chains was a band that I really liked. Ronnie James Dio a few years ago. I'll be honest I never appreciated how great of a singer Dio was until after he had passed away. Peter Steele from Type O Negative. I've always liked their music. There was just something about his voice and the lyrics to Type O Negative songs that made them enjoyable to listen to. The list does go on and on and on. I can't imagine how I am going to feel when people such as Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, Tony Iommi, any of the guys from Metallica, etc all pass away.
For the rest of tonight and for the upcoming days I will honor the legacy of Jeff Hanneman by listening to mainly Slayer. Let us all remember him for his song writing, his guitar playing, and for being the heart of Slayer. RIP Jeff Hanneman.