Slayer Talk Losing Jeff Hanneman, 25-Year Ban From MSG
On August 31, 1988, thrash metal pioneers Slayer, on tour with Danzig, played one of the most memorable shows of their career at New York’s Felt Forum (later renamed the Theater at Madison Square Garden).
“I remember it raining cushions and mountains of cushions on both sides and thinking, ‘Oh, we’re never going to play here again,” recalls guitarist Kerry King.
He was right. The band was banned from the venue for 25 years until they were allowed to grace the stage again this past November.
In the mini-documentary above, Fuse revisits that fateful day when, according to fans, “people were carried out on stretchers,” “the barricades were smashing underneath the stage” and “people were moshing with razor blades.” The whole venue ended up destroyed, with the band ending the show abruptly.
The band also discuss their current tour, which finds them opening with five songs nonstop and reaching into the vaults to dig up some lesser-known gems, as well as how their songwriting has evolved since their early days.
“When we first got together, we wrote about demons and devils and witches,” says frontman Tom Araya. “Then that turned into demons and devils of reality. We went from tales of terror to true reality of horror.”
One thing the band is still coping with is the death earlier this year of founding member Jeff Hanneman. “[After] I did the [Golden Gods] award show the night Jeff died, I actually…looked it up on YouTube because I was a mess and I wanted to see how I did and see what I said,” says King. “I scrolled down a bit and people were really giving me sh-t because I didn’t show enough sorrow. My only thought to that was, ‘You don’t know me. You don’t know how I mourn. And you’re judging me from a f-cking computer. Get on with yourself, man. That’s ridiculous.”
“I wanted to do more,” adds Araya. “I was hoping to do more. But management gets involved in everything we do and they f-cked it up. I’m throwing them under the bus. And it really upset me because it could’ve been more. But we pay homage to him every f-cking night we play because every f-cking song on the set list was written by Jeff and every f-cking song that we play in our lifetime are all influenced or written by Jeff. I lost a good friend.”
Check out the full mini-doc above.