Ted Kirkpatrick of Christian metallers TOURNIQUET has paid tribute to SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died at about 11 a.m. today (Thursday, May 2) near his Southern California home. He was 49. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure.

Says Kirkpatrick: "I was very sorry to hear that SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away today. He wrote and performed some killer tunes for sure — and for my brief interaction with him — he was really cool."

"Soon after I moved to L.A. in 1986, I got a phone call from [producer] Rick Rubin. He asked if I was interested in auditioning for SLAYER. Their excellent drummer Dave Lombardo was out of the band and they needed a drummer. I had dropped off a drumming demo video at Metal Blade and a cool guy named Bill (not Bill Metoyer, but he's cool too) who used to work there gave my video to Rick. The SLAYER guys checked it out and I guess they liked it OK. So Rick gave me the songs to learn — 'Criminally Insane', 'Raining Blood', 'Postmortem', 'Epidemic', 'At Dawn They Sleep', and, of course, 'Angel Of Death'. So I got to work learning the tunes and went to SIR studios in West Hollywood for the audition. When I walked into the huge rehearsal room — I was a little surprised to see them... playing basketball. So we shot a few hoops together. They were all very nice and I remember Jeff was quite polite.

"I got on the stage and saw Dave's drums still set up there. I had, of course, brought (my own). Tom [Araya, SLAYER bassist/vocalist] said I could just play on Dave's kit. I told them I had one problem — I'm left-handed. So they said just switch everything around however I wanted, which I did. They asked what song I wanted to start with. I said, 'How about 'Criminally Insane'?' So away we went — and man, was it loud. They were super tight and it sounded like a 1000 times louder version of listening to the record on my stereo. When we finished 'At Dawn They Sleep', they said I was the only one who got it right. It does have a few trippy time signature parts.

"The next week I got a call to return for a second audition. We did the same tunes — but this time when we finished playing 'Angel Of Death', Tom said, 'Hey, Ted, do you think you can play it again? I said Ah... OK. You drummers know this song is a little exhausting. So we played it twice — it ruled.

"Anyways, later on they worked things out with Dave Lombardo so he returned to the band.

"Well, this is just my little tribute to one of the thrash metal greats.

"RIP Jeff."


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