On May 2nd of this year, we lost the great Jeff Hanneman. The most in-depth profile on Hanneman was done by Guitar World magazine. Previously, little bits leaked out like the depression Hanneman suffered after his spider bite, Kerry King saying he and Jeff weren't exactly best friends but business partners, and Tom Araya questioning the future of Slayer.
Guitar World has now posted the full article online and it's a must read for Slayer fans. It includes the totally romantic way Jeff met his wife:
Here's Kathryn Hanneman on how they first met:
“My girlfriend and I were getting tired of going to the movies every weekend, so we decided to go see this band called Slayer at a little club in Buena Park called the Woodstock,” says Kathryn, who is now 46, from her home in southern California. “They were playing with a band called Leatherwolf. I begged my father to let us go to the show, knowing that I would be home later than my 10 o’clock curfew, and he was okay with that. There may have been 15 or 20 people at the show, so I was able to stand up front against the stage, on Jeff’s side. And before I knew it, he kneeled down, grabbed me by the hair, and started making out with me. I was blown away, and that was how we met.”
How fucking metal is that? Sure, it might be bordering on molestation, but Kathryn was all about it! She sounds like a keeper. But Jeff had to take care of some business before getting into this relationship:
“I asked the manager if he could have Jeff call me, and he told me Jeff was in Vegas visiting his grandmother,” she says. “I thought that was so sweet. About three weeks later, I was at home and my phone rang one night, and I picked it up and the voice on the other end said, ‘Hi, Kathy, this is Jeff from Slayer.’ And my heart started racing. I asked him how his grandmother was, and he said to me, ‘I wasn’t visiting my grandmother. I went to Vegas to break up with my girlfriend.’ And that was what I loved about Jeff—he was honest from the get-go.”
While Kathryn mostly stayed out of the public spotlight, she was actually featured in an early Slayer promo photo:
“I was around 16 at the time,” she says. “Jeff called me one evening and said they were about to do this photo shoot and that the girl they were going to use broke her toe and had to cancel, so he asked if I would fill in. And that I needed to bring some sort of black lingerie. I told him I had to get permission from my parents but that I’d be happy to do it. And since neither of us had driver’s licenses, Tom came out and picked me up and we went to the garage at Tom’s parents’ house, which is where they would rehearse, and we did the shoot. I was very shy and conservative in those days, but it was the least I could do. I was honored that they chose me.”
And here is that awesome photo:
I highly recommend carving some time out to read the entire article on Guitar World's site. It paints a very honest picture of the fallen Slayer guitarist, from the highs and the lows. We miss you Jeff!