The Palladium, Los Angeles, California
May 23, 2013
I still don't have my head around this yet and I might not for awhile: An original member of Slayer is gone. Despite the usual band trials and tribulations over the years, Slayer have always been SLAAAYER. When I first saw them at venues like Ruthie's Inn we were all still pimply-faced teenagers. The Metal Godz work in mysterious ways and approximately 10,585 days later my professional life involves SLAAAYER. However, I was still shocked and honored to receive a VIP invitation to Jeff's memorial. As I drove to the memorial this started playing on the rental car radio:
Amazing, right? "An unforeseen future nestled somewhere in time..."
I'm not going to detail who said what from the podium since you can see and read about that all over The Internets by now. I'm not going to list what Rock Stars and Metal elite were standing around me up in the balcony. This event was so much bigger than all of that. Who would have thought a public event associated with Slayer could be so overtly emotional?
As I said at the start of this rant, I still don't have my head around this day. However, while typing this, some order has started to come out of the conflicted chaos that are my current thoughts and old memories. When Cliff Burton passed away a million years ago we were all still young and he wasn't a legend yet. His death represents an unfulfilled future to me. When Paul Baloff passed away I wasn't following Metal at that time in my life so unfortunately I wasn't completely engaged with him leaving. His death represents an unfulfilled past to me. Jeff Hanneman's death represents an unfulfilled present to me. Slayer are still relevant here in the 21st Century. If you don't agree then just choke on some Halestorm MP3s. No, I don't know how to perform the heimlich maneuver. To quote SLAAYEER: "Before you see the light you must die.."
Best Quote: "FUCK SPIDERS!!" - A random fan during one of the testimonials after Hanneman's battle with necrotizing fasciitis was mentioned.
While the testimonials were all heartfelt and powerful, the emotional highlight of the service for me came when the retrospective slideshow began. It was an extreme honor and also very surreal to have a few photos and some flyers from Murder In the Front Row included in the slideshow... and then magic happened.
Number of times the Krokus song 'Screaming In The Night' was played over the PA = 2. If you bought one of every Hanneman memorial merch item you would have paid $25, but all of the proceeds went to Music Cares. Rest in peace and thank you, Jeff..
"Rancid Angel of Death... Flying free..."