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Metal Greats Toast Jeff Hanneman With Jagermeister and a Mosh Pit

Watch members of Slayer, Metallica, and System of a Down pay tribute to the fallen metal icon

picture-18547-1390524318Kyle McGovern // May 24, 2013

Droves of Slayer fans paid their respects to late guitarist Jeff Hanneman during a public memorial service held in Los Angeles Thursday (May 23). The rambunctious-but-respectful ceremony featured remarks from Slayer guitarist Kerry King, Metallica’s Rob Trujillo, System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian, and more, as well as a mosh pit for attendees (via UPROXX). As SPIN noted previously, the remembrance took place at the storied 4,000-capacity Hollywood Palladium. 

“All you fans, thanks a lot for showing up,” King reportedly said to the crowd, who were lined up around the block an hour before doors opened. “It means a lot. We got a lot of history in this joint. Me and Jeff got banned here for 20 years, so it’s kind of ironic.”

Despite the fact that Hanneman died at the age of 49 earlier this month from alcohol-related cirrhosis, the Slayer co-founder toasted his fallen bandmate with a glass of Jägermeister. “Unlike myself, Jeff Hanneman hated Jägermeister,” King said. “But I had to come up here with something to cheer my friend.” He continued, saying, “Jeff was my doorway to punk and it really helped Slayer to become the doorway between the metal kids and the punk kids… Jeff hated being famous, but he loved being onstage.” 

Trujillo read a statement from Rick Rubin, who produced Slayer’s 1986 masterpiece, Reign in Blood. “Although he may have been the quietest member of the band personally, Jeff was the heart and soul musically,” Trujillo said on Rubin’s behalf. “He was an innovator, an original and creative force who we will all miss every day going forward. Thankfully, he left us with recordings we can listen to anytime we want to feel his presence.” 

Other speakers included American Recordings’ Dino Paredes, Metalblade Records’ Brian Slagel, and Kristen Mulderig, a woman who works for Slayer’s management company; Mulderig reportedly read a message written by Hanneman’s widow, Kathryn. Metal Hammer reports that Dave Navarro attended the event, as well as Rob Zombie guitarist John 5. The infamous Westboro Baptist Church hate group threatened to picket the service but chickened out. 

Watch fan-shot footage of the memorial ceremony, including remarks from King, Trujillo, and Odadjian, below.