Slayer to Honor Jeff Hanneman With Public 'Memorial Celebration' in Los Angeles

Iconic Hollywood Palladium venue to play host

Jeff Hanneman Slayer Memorial Celebration Public Service
Jeff Hanneman in the studio for Slayer Andrew Stuart
Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

Slayer fans will be able to pay their respects to the band's fallen guitarist at the Jeff Hanneman Memorial Celebration on May 23 in Los Angeles. The Hollywood Palladium will host the free event from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. and has a capacity just shy of 4,000. The event will be "first come, first in" and is open to attendees of all ages. Further details about the service have yet to be announced.

In 2010, the metal community came together to honor the life and passing of Ronnie James Dio, at the Forest Lawn cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. The four-hour event was hosted by Eddie Trunk of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show and included a handful of moving speeches and performances from stars as accomplished as Deep Purple's Glenn Hughes, Anthrax's Joey Belladonna, and Asia's John Payne.

The notorious Westboro Baptist hate group was on hand that day and has suggested, via Twitter, that their followers picket Hanneman's funeral, the details of which have not been publicly released. According to the disgusting organization's website, they've got a high school graduation to protest on the evening of May 22 in Lawrence, Kansas, so perhaps they'll sit this one out. We can only hope.

Slayer shared the information for the celebration on Facebook. Read the full text below:

The Jeff Hanneman Memorial Celebration will take place on Thursday, May 23 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles from 3:30 - 7:30PM. Hanneman passed away on May 2 at the age of 49.

The Memorial Celebration will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-in basis (subject to venue capacity). All ages are welcome, and paid parking will be available around the venue.

Jeff Hanneman helped shape Slayer's uncompromising thrash-metal sound as well as an entire genre of music. His riffs of fury and punk-rock attitude were heard in the songs he wrote, including Slayer classics "Angel of Death," "Raining Blood," "South of Heaven" and "War Ensemble." Hanneman co-founded Slayer with fellow-guitarist Kerry King, bassist Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo in Huntington Park, CA in 1981. For more than 30 years, Hanneman was the band member who stayed out of the spotlight, rarely did interviews, amassed an impressive collection of World War II memorabilia, was with his wife Kathy for nearly three decades, shut off his phone and went incommunicado when he was home from tour, did not want to be on the road too late into any December as Christmas was his favorite holiday, and, from the time he was about 12 years old, woke up every, single day with one thing on his mind: playing the guitar.

It was once suggested to Slayer that if they would write "just one mainstream song that could get on the radio," they would likely sell millions of records and change the commercial course of their career, similar to what had happened to Metallica with 1993's "Enter Sandman." Jeff was the first to draw a line of integrity in the sand, replying, "We're going to make a Slayer record. If you can get it on the radio, fine, if not, then fuck it."

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