JEFF HANNEMAN MEMORIAL CEREMONY:
Stepping into the dedication ceremony of Jeff Hanneman on May 23rd, 2013 seemed only fitting and appropriate before the memorial day weekend that was about to begin. Some people arriving as early as 6:00am to get their spots. Lines like soldiers in a battlefield waving the Slayer flag all around the Hollywood Palladium. The only thing keeping everyone calm was the fact that the rumored protest of the Westboro Baptist Church didn’t happen and they didn’t show up. The lines I’m sure would have been a bit more chaotic and every act of war would have been a reality just like the lyrics Slayer has been known far since there start in 1981. Slayer’s fan base and dedication to the genre of thrash metal is because of the meeting of these individuals Kerry King, Dave Lombardo, Tom Araya and Jeff Hanneman. This ceremony had well known musicians, producers, co-workers, management, and the Hanneman. The Memorial was officiated by Nick Bowcott who’s is the one who helped create the works of the best amplification in the business Marshall. Guest and volunteer speakers included Brian Slagel of Metal Blade Records, Dino Paredes of American Recordings, Kerry King, Rick Sales (Slayer’s Manager) Robert Trujillo of Metallica, and Shavo Odadgian of System of Down. Everyone’s speeches took us back to the times of Slayer’s first start with a record label to times spent in the studio, on the road, and every incident that just made life fun just because “Jeff really wasn’t a person who enjoyed the life of a rockstar he just wanted to play guitar”. This quoted by fellow Slayer guitarist Kerry King. Brian Slagel was the first to speak on the panel of guest speakers. It was Brain who gave Slayer their first start at his newely formed label Metal Blade Records in 1982. The song “Aggressive Perfector” was featured on the Metal Massacre III compilation.
When I asked Bill Metoyer who worked with Jeff and Slayer as their producer from 1983-1986, These are the words he spoke of about Jeff. “Jeff brought the punk influence to Metal and helped to forge the future of thrash. I owe a lot to him and Slayer. I still have bands that come to me because of my work with the band. As sad as Jeff’s memorial was. It was great to see so many of his fans show up in his honor. It’s proof that the Metal community is alive and strong. After Brian’s speech the fans got to hear and witness a very heart felt sincere thanks by direct assistant to Rick Rubin, Dino Paredes. It was Rick Rubin and his start of Def Jam records who was responsible for getting Slayer their first placement on the Billboard top 200 and every album after. “Reign in Blood” debuted at number 94 with the release of the epic imagery of the cover artwork that first was refused release by Rick Rubin distribution of Columbia. This waas quite a way to make an impression on every year and album after. Def Jam then later on changed to American Recordings would be responsible for every album after 1986.
After the speech that Dino Paredes gave us our officiator Nick Bowcott created a new chant instead of “Slayer”, “Slayer”, we started to chant “Hann-e-man”, “Hann-e-man”. Next on the podium fellow bandmate Kerry King started his speech with one toast to the sky to the crowd and fans with the one drink Jeff Hannman didn’t like much Jagermeister. Stories on the road and with their manager Rick Sales about an incident involving a wet napkin between the eyes for sure had us all laughing including Sales and his team in the humor that was Jeff not living to be a Rockstar like Kerry said earlier just having some great times traveling and playing guitar. The story that really was quite the impression on how much drinking one can do and somehow mange to still puke and make it cool to do and slap high fives on each other once puked on and just laugh and keep on going. Robert Trujillo (Metallica) spoke about the times of playing with Slayer and the Big 4 shows. The slide show was a amazing 15 minutes of the lifeline and times of Jeff’s life as a child, his loyalty to the his wife Kathryn, life on the road, every person whom he ever met and influenced one way or another. Songs included Metallica’s “Fade to Black”, and of course Slayer’s own songs which had a 5 little circle pits going as Jeff Hanneman would have wanted it. After the slide show. Nick Bowcott saying how “Crazy” all of us were. Horns up to the heavens and even from below “South of Heaven” Once the words wrote by Kathryn Hanneman where heard and read from the Rick Sales Entertainment group we where left with the words “Jeff is now South of Heaven”. We all called it a night and continued the pits in his behalf and left knowing Jeff was proud of all of us as dedicated fans. Once the ceremony concluded the video continued with footage of various concerts spanning their 30+ career. This celebration of Jeff’s life was made possible by the following sponsors including American Recordings, Dunlop, ESP Guitars, Marshall Amplification, Rick Sales Entertainment, Revolver Magazine, Rockstar Energy Drink, Vans, and Volcom.
Review by Joaquin “The Machine” Sahagun and Alex Kluft