Rockstar obituary: Jeff Hanneman

hanneman-dghWow. Less than a week after that heavy metal high that was Pulp Summer Slam XIII comes the ultimate letdown: Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and founding member of thrash metal titans Slayer, died Friday (Manila time) due to alleged drink-related liver failure. He was 49.

Really, wow. This genuinely saddens me. I may not be the biggest Slayer fan on the block, but I have the biggest respect for the band and have fond memories of their music.

I remember listening to Decade of Aggression at a friend’s place many summers ago. Nothing really special about that afternoon except the period: I was starting my teenage years, cranked up on that feeling of invincibility that one feels at that age, and Slayer — with Hanneman and Kerry King’s blitzkrieg guitar riffs and face-melting solos — was providing a fitting soundtrack to that. Slayer was also among the first bands I listened to when I wanted to feel “tough” and “evil” and to piss off the adults. Later I’d use their music to get over a particularly hellish day at the office.

They say the most unforgettable music in one’s life is the one he heard when he was a teenager. Hard not to spot sense in that wisdom.

Will be listening to Decade of Aggression all weekend.


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