Jeff Hanneman, born as Jeffrey John Hanneman (January 31, 1964 – May 2, 2013) was an American musician, best known as a founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.
Before we explore the news of the week let us stop for a short moment to think about Jeff Hanemman whose anniversary of death was on May 2nd. Most of the listeners know him as the founding member and the guitarist of Slayer who was with the band from the very begininning almost until his death. Hanneman was born in 1964, in Oakland, the USA in the military family, his father was German who fought against the Nazi in the WWII and his brothers were Vietnam veterans. Growing up in the military tradition made an impact on young Jeff who was making tank and plane models as a child. His sister influenced him musically by playing him the music of Black Sabbath and he was also impressed by hardcore punk music.
When he was working as a telemarketer in the early eighties, he met Kerry King who gave him idea of creating the band and together with him, Tom Araya and Dave Lombardo he formed Slayer. It was the group’s distinctive style and breakthrough sound that made it popular among the fans of heavy music all over the world and it contributed to its status as a cult metal band of the eighties. Jeff Haneman contributed to all the albums of the band as the songwriter with his lyrics reflecting his interest in the history of the WWII. He contributed both lyrically and musically to every Slayer album and wrote the songs “Raining Blood”, “War Ensemble,” “South of Heaven,” “Seasons in the Abyss,” and “Angel of Death,” all of which have been played at almost every live Slayer performance after their respective compositions. He had his own signature guitar, the ESP Jeff Hanneman Signature model.
In early 2011, Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis most probably due to the spider bite. Because of his illness he had to postpone his band duties as his health deteriorated. Unfortunately, on May 2nd 2013 Jeff Hanemman died, the official cause of death was liver failure due to cirrosis.
He influenced a lot of guitarists from the bands like Machine Head, Fear Factory, Kreator, Sepultura and Anthrax, he also had his own signature guitar, the ESP Jeff Hanneman Signature model.