JEFF HANNEMAN 1964-2013
Not sure why I’m writing you. Your death is a shock. I knew you were too sick to shred up to the high standards you set for Slayer. A rotten spider got a hold of your arm a couple years ago. That could happen to me, or anyone else that can hold a musical instrument. You didn’t perform the last time I saw Slayer. There was a fill-in to cover up for you while you healed. I was stoked to hear your band play, your songs sounded great. I was excited to see this novelty of “Slayer without Jeff .” Turns out the novelty became reality earlier today. Slayer without Jeff. Planet Earth without Jeff. Damn.
Fun Fact: When I heard Jeff Hanneman passed away, Slayer was playing on my iTunes. Last night, I was listening to a Rymodee song. It finished, and iTunes began to play the next file alphabetically, “Hallowed Point” from Slayer’s Decade Of Aggression 2xCD I bought off Uri when he has in town with Bad Tat. (Uri has my 2nd favorite Slayer tattoo). The only way I can connect Jeff Hanneman to Gainesville music: George Rebelo was in the crowd during the recording of Decade of Aggression.
I always think of dead rockers as if they have a problem I could avoid. Heroin, Pussy, Booze, Glamour, whatever. Jeff Hanneman never portrayed any of those. In Slayer, he was the guy who wrote the songs about war and crippling governments, Kerry wrote about religion.
Jeff must have a songbook full of ideas from the hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay to the rising awareness of American workers wanting safety in Bangladesh factories. Even an easy song about the 10 year anniversary of the U.S. Navy stopping tests in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
I giggle now thinking about him wearing those knee pads. That LA King’s Jersey and weird knee pads. Hats off to you sir. I’ll maintain an area in our practice space for you to haunt/inspire. We like sports as well.
- Dave Drobach
(Pics courtesy of Dave Drobach)