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Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman Remembered at Los Angeles Memorial Celebration

Jo Hale, Getty Images
Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman may have been a quiet man, but his impact was definitely felt in the music world, as evidenced by the throngs of fans, friends and peers that turned out to salute his legacy in Los Angeles Thursday (May 23) afternoon.

A string of speakers, some previously revealed in the program and others added at the last moment, shared their memories of Hanneman, providing both laughs and tears for those in attendance at the Hollywood Palladium.

According to Loudwire, Marshall Amplification’s Nick Bowcott hosted the event, setting the tone by stating, “Let’s get this straight. This is a celebration. This is not about tears. This is not about getting sad.” Bowcott, whose onetime band Grim Reaper once played alongside Slayer, added, “Slayer’s worst show was better than anyone’s best show on this planet.”

After speeches from Metal Blade’s Brian Slagel and American Recordings’ Dino Parades, Slayer’s Kerry King took the stage. The guitarist shared several humorous stories about the hijinks he and Hanneman used to get into, but also offered credit to Hanneman from bringing the punk side of the band’s sound to life. King stated, “Jeff was my doorway to punk and it really helped Slayer become kind of the bridge between the metal kids and the punk kids. I gotta tell you though, when he shaved his head I was pissed. How can you be in a metal band with a dude with a shaved head? But that’s what Jeff did cause that was Jeff.”

Metallica’s Robert Trujillo and System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian also made surprise appearances.

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