Dies of liver failure aged 49
(January 31st, 1964 - May 2nd, 2013)

It is with true sadness that we report the passing of Jeff Hanneman, one of the greatest metal guitarists in the world. Jeff Hanneman was the guitarist and founding member of the trash-metal band Slayer with Kerry King, Dave Lombardo and Tom Araya starting in 1981. Hanneman was the composer of “Angel of Death”, “Raining Blood”, “Seasons In The Abyss”, “War Ensemble” and so many other Slayer classics.

The metal musician had been recovering from flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis, contracted from a spider bite in 2011. The disease forced him to take time away from Slayer, and only joining the band on stage at the “Big 4” performance in May 2011.

Jeff Hanneman passed away at about 11:00 am on Thursday, May 2, 2013 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.

Slayer members had informed fans about Jeff’s health condition in an open letter posted on the band’s official website:

Slayer fans everywhere – it’s time to let you know what is going on with our brother Jeff Hanneman. As you know, Jeff was bitten by a spider more than a year ago, but what you may not have known was that for a couple of days after he went to the ER, things were touch-and-go. There was talk that he might have to have his arm amputated, and we didn’t know if he was going to pull through at all. He was in a medically-induced coma for a few days and had several operations to remove the dead and dying tissue from his arm. So, understand, he was in really, really bad shape. It’s been about a year since he got out of the hospital, and since then, he had to learn to walk again, he’s had several painful skin grafts, he’s been in rehab doing exercises to regain the strength in his arm; but best of all, he’s been playing guitar. We were all excited when he joined us onstage for the encore a year ago at The Big Four show at Coachella. Since then, we’ve given him all the time and support he’s needed to continue his rehab so he can come back to the band fully recovered and able to deliver the kind of shows we all want him to. While Jeff’s been doing some writing and has been coming to rehearsal over the past several weeks, he has decided he needs to take more time to continue his rehab. While we want him back onstage with the band, all of us support his decision. So, we’re very grateful that Gary Holt will continue to fill in for Jeff, and will tour with us until Jeff completes his rehab and is ready to return. How long will that be? The best and most honest answer we can give you is ‘as long as it takes.’ We also wanted you to know that we’ve been doing some writing and recording for the next Slayer album – we’ve tracked a few songs, and will finish the album when we’re off the road later this year. Gary will join us on tour in Europe and the UK in May and June, and then we’ll all see you on this Summer’s Mayhem Festival”.

This blog sends respects, condolences, and prayers to the family, friends of Jeff Hanneman, and his brothers in Slayer.

R.I.P Jeff Hanneman. You will never be forgotten. You’ll be greatly missed by so many metal-heads around the globe. Rest easy man.