Slayer guitarist and founding member Jeff Hanneman died today (Thursday, May 2, 2013). The band posted a brief, but positive message on their Facebook page which generated upwards of 80,000 comments by the end of the day.
“Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home,” the band wrote. “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. Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 – 2013).”
Hanneman withdrew from active touring in early 2011 after he contracted the debilitating skin disorder necrotizing fasciitis from a spider bite. By 2012, bandmate Tom Araya had announced his recovery from the disease, however later in February, 2013, Kerry King revealed continuing health problems that kept him from working with Slayer.
He was a long-time fan of the Oakland Raiders and a reformed cocaine and pill abuser, who quit alongside Araya.
Hanneman died on May 2 near his home in Southern California’s Inland Empire. He was in a local hospital and suffered liver failure. It is not known if the skin ailment was connected to his liver failure. He was 49.