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.


Rockstar obituary: Karl Roy

Karl Roy, 1968-2012

Something weird happened to me today.

I was on board a tricycle on my way to work when I was suddenly gripped by fear of death so strong I couldn’t shake it off. It was a stray feeling that left me depressed and totally freaked out at the thought that one day I’ll leave this world for good, and there’ll be nothing but darkness. No wind, no sound. Just darkness. Forever and ever.*

I was still freaking out when a friend texted me about Karl Roy’s death. Cardiac arrest, he said. 43 years old.

It was a bleak nine-hour grind at the office.

*The religious could argue about the afterlife, about an everlasting existence with God and His angels, and on a normal day I would believe them. But on a day like today, with overcast sky and rain threatening to taint summer, there’s hardly any room in my head for butterflies and sunshine. Forgive me.

Rockstar obituary: Jani Lane

Ex-Warrant vocalist Jani Lane dead at 47.

Learned about it from Glenn Hughes’ tweet. Googled it and found the story on TMZ. Sad. News about him hadn’t been very encouraging lately. Drugs and alcohol and all that shit. Not surprising, really. But still.

RIP, Mr. Rainmaker. Dog Eat Dog will remain one of my favorite albums. Too bad haters had dismissed you and your band for Cherry Pie and had lambasted you for what you had become — a sad drug-addled has-been — but failed to take note your band’s maturity that was very obvious in Dog Eat Dog and even Ultraphobic. Those two are gems, and I sincerely thank you for them. Now go break some angel’s heart with “Heaven.” A slow rock collection will not be complete without that tearjerker.