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Jeff Hanneman

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Jeff Hanneman.

The New Delhi hotel I am staying at has a mosquito problem. Five star my ****, if you have the sneaky little shits biting the life out of you while you’re trying to get some sleep after a 16-hour trip. Nothing worse than hearing the bastards fly past your face and stopping somewhere. They probably carry malaria and dengue and Aids. I was seething. And tired. And they sent someone to hunt for the mosquito. Obviously he couldn’t find it. Surreal fury followed.

After the anger phase, and a huge dose of repellent, I thought of Jeff Hanneman. The mind works in strange ways: Mosquitoes>bites>bugs>spiders>******, Jeff Hanneman is gone. A week later I still haven’t quite grasped the enormity of it.

I couldn’t get back to sleep so I played Hell Awaits through my headphones in the dark, thinking back how it all started for me.

When Dimebag Darrell died nearly 10 years ago, “Feel the knife piercing you intensely” 10 years ago , it was like a punch in the gut. That was that, an anti-hero guitar god was gone. Much has been written about him and his image has been ripped off to ******. The music lives on.

But this? This is different. In life, you have only a few certainties: The sun rises in the morning, your worship your football team no matter what, the government - any government- is a pile of shite and Slayer. Slayer are/were this immutable force you could always count on. Especially Jeff.

His death is probably a milestone, a reminder of our own mortality and a sign that we need to treasure what we have. Those of us lucky enough to have seen Slayer play live know what I mean. This is a part of our lives no one can take away from us. Much of what we have become has been influenced, one way or another, by the music we loved as kids. If you were into metal as long as I’ve been, the effect is magnified.

As a 16-year old kid, I wanted to be Hanneman (or Kerry King). It didn’t matter which one of the twoas they were “the” couple of thrash guitarist. Holt-Hunolt as well. Pantera came later and I also wanted to be Diamond Darrell. Still, to this day, thinking of them two on stage (Kerry on the right – Jeff on the left, guitars un-mixed) gives me goose bumps.

I often end up discussing with the usual mob how we would see the end of our heroes. You know, how would they handle retirement and all that. Would Slayer play into their 70’s? Realistically, the end of the road was closer to them than the beginning, but it was still a remote thought.

But now?

I can’t really blaming Kerry and Tom for wanting to go on, and squeeze the last life out of the brand. It won’t last very long anyways. Let Lombardo back in the band and have a farewell tour with guest guitarists from the era. Surely there’s a queue of them up for it. If you ask me, Metallica have been ready for the Springfield Retirement Castle for years. Anthrax still have it in them, no question, and Mustaine will probably self-combust at some point.

So that’s our lot, thrashers. Sad days. Nothing new on the horizon for us. Just promise me you will keep asking for the right songs whenever you are out, and enjoy them as much as when you were kids, thinking how much of that made you in what you came to be.

In the meantime I will try to keep the mosquitoes away with gin & tonic. Jeff would approve.

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Did you write that yourself?

Slayer are/were the definitive thrash band. No one else comes close.

So farewell sweet Hanneman. At dawn he sleeps......

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Yep, written from Delhi, where property prices are even more insane than London (if you can believe that).

Hail Slayer.

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I had a vague liking for some of Sepultura's work for a while, but Pantera were a revelation for me when I heard Primal Concrete Sledge from 'Cowboys from Hell':

I never listened to much Slayer but I do remember them doing Raining Blood on an old 1989 BBC Arena documentary about heavy metal.:

Starting at 1:35

It feature Napalm Death a lot too, but I wasn't keen.

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It all went right downhill in the early-mid 90s. Since then, apart from the odd Megadeth song none of them come close to the quality of their old work.

fully agree.

no good metal band (other than Mastodon, which are immense) is worth listening to these days. I worry about when the old geezers stop working (or die like Jeff)

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  • 241 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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