Slayer guitarist and songwriter Jeff Hanneman lived his life with the same aggressive gusto that defined his music, and ultimately, he went out in the most metal way anyone can possibly imagine: a combination of necrotizing fasciitis contracted from a rare spider and liver failure. On the surface, that might make the musician sound like a bit of a mess, but in truth, he was far from it. Hanneman was married to his wife Kathryn for more than fifteen years, and he was a noted collector of World War II memorabilia. Rather than shutting down after he developed necrotizing fasciitis, he actually worked really hard to try and strengthen his arms enough to return to the stage. By all accounts, he was a huge influence on an entire generation of musicians and an even better dude. He was just 49.

According to The New York Daily News, it’s still unclear exactly how much the spider bite contributed to the liver failure. That detail along with a host of others will likely come out if an autopsy is scheduled, but regardless of where the truth lies, none of it changes the fact that we lost yet another brilliant musician at far too young of an age and that a family and a band are now struggling with the loss of an incredible dude.

Hanneman was born in California in 1964 and spent much of his life in Long Beach. He was a dieheard Oakland Raiders fan and lifelong lover of music. In the early 1980s, he met Kerry King at an audition, and the two decided to form their own group. They named it Slayer, and while they never achieved the incredible success of some of their peers, they churned out an extensive catalog of music that, altogether, sold well into the millions and had a disproportionate effect on an entire generation of up and coming musicians who learned to play as fast and as viciously as possible.

Pop Blend’s sincerest thoughts go out to those closet to Hanneman. He will be missed.



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