By now, you are likely familiar with the iconic Slayer eagle logo.
If not, here is a refresher…
Pretty iconic, right? Guess who suggested the band go with this imagery for their logo? None other than the band's longtime producer and collaborator, Rick Rubin. Tom Araya revealed as much in a retrospective about Seasons in the Abyss, which celebrates its 28th anniversary today, October 9th. Araya noted:
Rick Rubin is the one who helped us come up with the eagle [logo] on Seasons. He asked Jeff to bring in [Jeff's] book on Nazi war medals, and he picked out the eagle as the logo for Seasons, and it stuck. We used it on our stage banners, too. Of course, everyone got the wrong impression — they didn't realize that the banners were actually huge upside-down crosses. They saw everything that they wanted to see, except for what it really was. Rubin helped come up with those ideas — and he's Jewish. People always complain, but we learned a long time ago to ignore that shit.
Slayer, of course, faced nazi accusations all throughout the 90s, which they vehemently denied. It's interesting that Rubin of all people was the one encouraging them to do so, although he has a history of suggesting bands push people's buttons.
Elsewhere in the retrospective was this hilarious anecdote about how Dave Lombardo exited the band for the first time. Here's how Tom Araya remembers it:
We would get together and meet at TGI Friday's before rehearsal and get drunk, and a lot of times we never made it to rehearsal — we'd just eat and watch sports. But Dave never really met us there — he'd just go to the rehearsal space and wait for us. Eventually he'd come over and go, "Hey dudes, let's go start working on stuff." We'd be like, "OK." He'd go back, and we just stayed there. [Laughs] I think he got really upset at that after we did it several times. He kind of flew off the handle, actually. He'd make a scene at the restaurant. One time he said some things that … even if I could remember it, I don't think I'd want to repeat what he said. But we were like, "Dude, where's this coming from?" Kerry and Jeff looked at me like, "What's wrong with your boy?" And I was like, "My boy? All of a sudden he's 'my boy'?" I was the last holdout, though, let's put it that way. I couldn't believe some of the things he said — that just blew my mind. So we decided that we should just part ways with him and find somebody else.
Can you imagine Slayer hanging out in a TGI Friday's?
If you're curious of Rick Rubin's perspective, he offered an interview a while back where he discussed working with Slayer in depth, as well as another interview where he discussed how Kerry King and the Beastie Boys did not get along.