SLAYER's management has told Pollstar that more than $10 million worth of merchandise has been sold on the band's farewell tour so far, with another leg to go. In addition, there have been some notable concert grosses on the trek, including Papa Murphy's Park in Sacramento (13,711 tickets, $715,760), SAP Center in San Jose (9,408, $597,042) and 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, (10,643, $648,140).
"There are only a handful of bands on the planet that are that iconic," says Barry Drinkwater, who co-founded Bravado and now runs Global Merchandising. "They're very focused on the quality of the products, between Tom [Araya, bass/vocals] and Kerry [King, guitar], and very into the design and development. We have a lot of input from them — how they want the graphics, everything from the color and depth of the saturation. It's great to have so much involvement from the artists themselves."
When SLAYER's merchandising company filed a lawsuit last year to get a judge's order that it can use to direct federal marshals, and authorize local and state police and agents hired by the company to seize bootleg T-shirts and similar items during the band's farewell tour, the complaint noted that "more than $25 million worth of licensed merchandise bearing the SLAYER name, trademark, logos and/or likenesses have been sold" to date.
Kristen Mulderig, who works with SLAYER's management company, Rick Sales Entertainment Group, said that there will still be plenty of SLAYER-related activities even after the band stops performing live.
"We're in legacy mode," Mulderig said, "which is a lot to do, even though they won't be making records or on the road. They still have their endorsers, there's still merch and branding to do — sync licenses and who knows? Maybe coming up with some sort of event that is SLAYER-based. This is all stuff we're thinking about and talking about. SLAYER lives on, absolutely."
SLAYER will embark on the final leg of its farewell tour in November, before concluding the trek with two-night stand at the Forum in Los Angeles.
Formed nearly four decades ago, the quartet has released 12 studio albums, selling millions of records worldwide without the hint of a hit single.
The two remaining original members of SLAYER are Araya and King.
Gary Holt has been the touring guitarist for SLAYER since January 2011 when original member Jeff Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard. Hanneman died in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
Original drummer Dave Lombardo's most recent stint with SLAYER ended in 2013 when he made allegations about the way the group's financial bookkeeping was handled. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band.