Slayer founding member and guitarist Jeff Hanneman died on May 2nd at the age of 49. Yesterday, the band posted a new update on their Facebook, in which they revealed Hanneman’s cause of death as the result of chronic liver disease cirrhosis.
“We’ve just learned that the official cause of Jeff’s death was alcohol related cirrhosis. While he had his health struggles over the years, including the recent Necrotizing fasciitis infection that devastated his well-being, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life. Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving – he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record.”
In addition, the band has announced plans for a public celebration of Hanneman’s life for later this month. Details are forthcoming, but in the meantime band members Kerry King and Tom Araya are finding solace in good memories.
“In the early days when we were out on the road, he and I were the night owls,” King recalls. “We would stay up all night on the bus, just hanging out, talking, watching movies…World War II movies, horror movies, we watched ‘Full Metal Jacket’ so many times, we could practically recite all of the dialogue.”
“When he got his own apartment,” says Araya in regards to Hanneman’s early years in Slayer, “he had an 8-track and I would go there to record songs I’d written, not slayer songs, other stuff I’d written. At a certain point, you still have the band but you start your own lives outside of the band, so that 24/7 falls to the side, you don’t spend as much time together as you once did. I miss those early days.”
You can read more at Slayer’s website. Watch Rock It Out! Blog’s tribute to Hanneman below.