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Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Dead at 49

Jeff Hanneman of Slayer

Founding member of Slayer, and Grammy-winning guitarist Jeff Hanneman, died earlier today of liver failure in Southern California.

He was 49.

The band released the following statement via Slayer.net;

Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. 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.

Billboard has reported;

Born in Oakland, Calif., and a devoted Raiders fan, Hanneman was raised primarily in Long Beach and became fascinated with wars and military campaigns — themes he’d bring to Slayer’s music — via his father, a World War II veteran, and brothers who served in Vietnam. He met King in 1981 and decided to form their own band, mixing heavy metal and punk influences and signing with Metal Blade Records for Slayer’s first two albums, “Show No Mercy” in 1983 and “Hell Awaits” in 1985. The group made an eyebrow-raising move to the hip-hop label Def Jam in 1986 for the covers album “Undisputed Attitude and the classic “Reign in Blood.”..

Hanneman has been off the road since early 2011, when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis — most likely from a spider bite — a quick-progressing disease that literally eats away at the flesh from deep layers of skin and tissue. Exodus’ Gary Holt stood in for Hanneman starting in February of 2011, while Pat O’Brien joined the band when Holt returned to Exodus during 2011.

It’s not known what role the disease played in Hanneman’s liver failure.

Photo courtesy of tvrphotography

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