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May 2, 2013 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Guitarist Jeff Hanneman of Slayer has died at 49.

A founding member of the long-running thrash institution, Jeff Hanneman passed away of liver failure after a long battle with necrotizing fasciitis thought to have been caused by a spider bite (previously.) Hanneman wrote music and lyrics for many of the band's most iconic songs, including Angel of Death, Raining Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons in the Abyss.
posted by Existential Dread (102 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by mrgroweler at 5:59 PM on May 2, 2013


Despite the dark and satanic imagery of the lyrics and album art, one of the most striking things about a Slayer show is how much fun the band was having right along with the audience. His style and playing influenced countless metalheads and he will be greatly missed.

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posted by waraw at 6:00 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


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Was just composing a post about this but Google and YouTube are completely broken for me right now. Was going to link to the Raining Blood Christmas lights, and still can't. Thanks for the post, and let's all have a drink in his honor.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:00 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by evisceratordeath at 6:01 PM on May 2, 2013



posted by Smart Dalek at 6:01 PM on May 2, 2013


Here it is, Slayer Christmas lights.
posted by skycrashesdown at 6:02 PM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


The only band that ever scared me. RIP.
posted by justgary at 6:04 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


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posted by Boxenmacher at 6:07 PM on May 2, 2013


Fuck.
posted by Ardiril at 6:08 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by drezdn at 6:09 PM on May 2, 2013


Me and my cousin in 6th grade learning how to play "Dead Skin Mask" in his basement and understanding the power and subversive glory of rock.

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posted by naju at 6:10 PM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


What the fuck nooo
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:11 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Me and my (female) friend Leslie went to a Slayer signing at the old Tower Records in downtown NYC back around 1991. She had Tom Araya sign her chest so he let us hang out for awhile. Despite their image they all (Jeff included) were very nice guys. And ther music has helped me exorcise my demons a time or two.

RIP, Hanneman.

\m/
posted by jonmc at 6:12 PM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


\mm/
too much rock for one hand
posted by klangklangston at 6:12 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's likely that he was never bitten by a spider. MRSA infections can resemble spider bites, but spiders are not believed to be vectors of MRSA themselves.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 6:15 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


what a terrible way to die, and far too young


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posted by supermedusa at 6:16 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by pernoctalian at 6:16 PM on May 2, 2013


\nn/ >_< \nn/
posted by brundlefly at 6:16 PM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Already left a dot but let me share one of my favorite stories: a buddy of mine was at a bar once, and couldn't help noticing that this woman at the bar had just started crying. So he's like hey, are you okay? What's wrong? And between sobs she explains that her longtime boyfriend has just recently broken up with her. So my friend is like, oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Then she gestures into the air - Slayer's "Dead Skin Mask" had come on the jukebox - and she wails "And this was our song!!!"
posted by evisceratordeath at 6:16 PM on May 2, 2013 [49 favorites]


\m/ °_° \m/
posted by furiousthought at 6:18 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dude, the aformentioned Leslie and my old buddy Mooch hooked up for awhile and considered "Chemical Warfare," to be their song. Love is a Many Splendored Fucking Thing.
posted by jonmc at 6:20 PM on May 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


While I am sure it was horrible for him and a tragic loss for his family, loved ones and fans, I have to confess being impressed. Dying of necrotizing fasciitis from a spider bite with liver failure does have to be the most metal way to die possible. Brutal. \m/
posted by Perfectibilist at 6:20 PM on May 2, 2013 [25 favorites]


jonmc: "the aformentioned Leslie and my old buddy Mooch hooked up for awhile and considered "Chemical Warfare," to be their song. Love is a Many Splendored Fucking Thing."

awww, that reminds me of the girl I briefly dated- we had Peter Gabriel's Red Rain as 'our song', because on our first date we came back to my place and right as I put that record on, she walked into a cow skull my roommate had mounted on the wall and blood started gushing down her face.


also,

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(not to joke, but how appropriate is it that a metal god goes down to a spider bite??)
posted by mannequito at 6:24 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


This fucking sucks clotting retched blood.

Fuck.
posted by item at 6:24 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


\m/ mmm \m/
posted by Artw at 6:31 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:34 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by gwint at 6:36 PM on May 2, 2013


Incantation spell gone by
I will live again
My deals were made eternally
I signed the book in red
My rage will be unleashed again
Burning the next morn
Death means nothing there is no end
I will be reborn

(furious Hanneman solo)

-- Slayer, Reborn
posted by brain_drain at 6:40 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


SLAAAYYYYYEEERRRRR!!!!!

SLAYYERRRRR!!!!! FUCKIN SLAYER!!!!!


!
posted by L. Ron McKenzie at 6:44 PM on May 2, 2013


\m/ ;_; \m/
posted by mephisjo at 6:45 PM on May 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is there already a kickstarter project going for obtaining his richly deserved viking longship laden with jaegermeister to carry him into eternity or do we need to start one? For pledges of $10,000 or more you get to ride it with him.
posted by Perfectibilist at 6:46 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:47 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by smoothvirus at 6:51 PM on May 2, 2013


"So. Slayer, huh?"
"Yup."
"Brutal. You died of liver failure?"
"Yup."
"Brutal. Just brutal."
"It wasn't booze, tho."
"No?"
"Spider bite."
"Yeah?"
"It gave me flesh-eating bacteria."
"Dude, you are so metal. Come on in."
"I didn't expect Hell to actually have seductive devil groupies..."
"Nah, we're the other place. Hell has harps and clouds and shit."
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:56 PM on May 2, 2013 [75 favorites]


Yeah, I was going to say that necrotizing fasciitis sounds like as metal a way to go as I can think of not involving battle axes and dragons.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:59 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Slayer, Metallica, Antrhrax, Megadeth all formed the soundtrack to my high school years.

RIP.

\m/
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:03 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Scroll fast and the thread is animated.
posted by Artw at 7:03 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


(not to joke, but how appropriate is it that a metal god goes down to a spider bite??)

(and plus, from a condition that would be the perfect name for a thrash band?)


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posted by Flashman at 7:04 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by Joey Michaels at 7:09 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:11 PM on May 2, 2013


\m/

(Hearing Slayer for the first time when I was a middle school age kid pretty much started me down the path to making music myself. Respect.)
posted by saulgoodman at 7:23 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


\m/
posted by The Michael The at 7:26 PM on May 2, 2013


That guy was a goddamn genius. Slayer could not work without all of them and combined evil magic, but Jeff wrote the most amazing fucking riffs. Who else on earth could have come up with the break in Angel of Death?

He seemed to have come less creatively interested in the band over the years, but live they were all killer, year after year after year all the way from 1994 through 2004. And probably after that, too. That kind of incredibly serious dedication to one's work makes me feel good about humanity.

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posted by ignignokt at 7:34 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Raining Blood was my ex-boyfriend's nemesis on Guitar Hero III. He spent I think months stuck on that one song. It's a hell of a song.

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posted by marble at 7:34 PM on May 2, 2013


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Saw them at Roseland in NYC in 1999. One of the more insane shows I've ever been to. Dang.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 7:36 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]




I found my way into Slayer through the sample in Public Enemy's "She Watches (Channel Zero)," but their music was fucking relentless and fun. Really sad.

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posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:45 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by misterbee at 7:56 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by migurski at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2013


He'll of a way to go:(
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posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:05 PM on May 2, 2013


Yeah, seen em at Roseland six times and another three times elsewhere. The Roseland shows were amazing, especially when Lombardo was back.

With Hanneman sick and Lombardo leaving again, Slayer seemed to be on the way out, and I could accept that. Not this, though. Ugh.

Time for a week of wall to wall SLAYER, especially RiB, SoH, and DoA.

RIP, Jeff. I'll be bringing Heineken and Jager to my next poker game.
posted by L. Ron McKenzie at 8:05 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I damn near went out that way, it's ugly.

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posted by pjern at 8:06 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


So long and thanks for all the flesh-flaying demon-fish.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by mapinduzi at 8:10 PM on May 2, 2013


(instead of a "." i will leave this...)

WEEDLEWEEDLEDLALALLABLANANANABABABLBALLLLAALLAL WEERRRRWOOOOOooorrrgghhh DAWNADAWNANNNANNNNnnnnNNNaaNNNaaNNNaaaaa DOOK DOOGA DOOK DOOKA DOOK BA NAAAH NA NAAAH BA NAAAAWWWWWwwwww WOWOWOOWOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!
posted by not_on_display at 8:13 PM on May 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


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posted by brennen at 8:15 PM on May 2, 2013


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\m/
posted by starvingartist at 8:38 PM on May 2, 2013


Nec fasc doesn't come from spider bites, despite the popular misconception. It's penetrating trauma that becomes secondarily infected. I'm not saying it was IV drugs, but this is a very common cause. It can be something as simple as a shaving accident. But it is an absolutely horrific way to go and the only treatment is to lop off huge amounts of flesh to stay ahead of the infection. Usually it kills quickly and the fact that this started in 2011 tells me that this was probably an exceedingly complicated medical course and its pretty heartbreaking.

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posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:53 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by Lynsey at 9:41 PM on May 2, 2013


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posted by current occupation: at 9:54 PM on May 2, 2013


Gonna be playing Seasons In The Abyss all night now. RIP Jeff. Your music made being an outsider in high school a badge of defiance instead of a mark of shame. Thanks, man. Fuck the Squares.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:56 PM on May 2, 2013


Never that huge of a fan, but I got super-excited about seeing them at funfunfunfest in 2011 - I went in there thinking that it was going to melt my face off, but instead I think it rendered me entirely. Holy fucking shit, that band is a force of nature (or un-nature, I dunno...)

Jeff wasn't there- there were rumors that he might be but he didn't, but w/ hey, the most metal excuse possible his flesh was fucking rotting off his bones but still, OMG.

I'd forgotten about this 'tour rider' from that show, but it's pretty hilarious.
...
Hand Sanitizer
Hand Satanizer
...
I'll definitely make sure that this part of the neighborhood has occasion to think of Slayer in the coming days...

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posted by hap_hazard at 10:13 PM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Rest in power.

\m/ o_O \m/
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:14 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


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posted by Rabarberofficer at 11:45 PM on May 2, 2013


Not to derail, but is there really such a thing as "a long battle with necrotizing fasciitis"? I thought it was the sort of thing where your flesh starts rotting off you and you need to get to the hospital, get lots of antibiotics and radical surgical debridement, and after a day or two, you're either dead or cured.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:34 AM on May 3, 2013


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posted by Berend at 1:22 AM on May 3, 2013


Joakim: you can lose a lot of flesh to it, and then be in the hospital trying to recover from all that lost flesh. And then you can lose that battle.
posted by legospaceman at 1:38 AM on May 3, 2013


It seems that the infection triggered liver disease, possibly complicated by other factors (e.g. drug use would be one). As noted here, "Healthy people are at extremely low risk of contracting the gruesome disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and most people who develop it have already other immune weakening conditions like diabetes, kidney disease, or cancer."

spiders are not believed to be vectors of MRSA themselves

I assume the theory is that the spider bite created an opening through which the infection spread. By his own report, he was in a hot tub at the time, and there were essentially immediate effects. The CDC says, carefully, "MRSA does not survive long in recreational water (for example, pools or hot tubs) that has proper disinfectant (chlorine) and pH levels. There have been no reports of MRSA spreading through contact with recreational water."
posted by dhartung at 1:39 AM on May 3, 2013


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posted by stFire at 1:54 AM on May 3, 2013


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Slayer actually melted my face off. I saw them at an outdoors music festival in 2008 and in my excitement I rushed off from the campsite without putting on sunscreen. The show started just after noon and right when they launched into their first song the sun rose over the stage and hit my face. I couldn't get closer to the stage due to the crowd so I just stood there, mezmerized; finally seeing one of my favorite bands live. After the show I meet up with my friends and they comment on how extremely red my face, and especially nose, was. That night my face almost literally melted off, my nose was scabby and wet with what I think might have been pus. For the next few days I looked like a car had dragged me on my face over asphalt. Totally worth it.
posted by aldurtregi at 2:29 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


\m/

Fuck Metallica, Slayer to me was and is the best thrash metal band ever. Reign in Blood, Seasons in the Abyss and South of Heaven are essential thrash albums.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:22 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


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posted by lapolla at 3:40 AM on May 3, 2013


\mm/
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posted by Skorgu at 3:55 AM on May 3, 2013


I've seen them 3 times, but the most fun was when I saw them on the main stage at Roskilde 2008. It was a gloriously sunny day, and the band were incredible, but the best thing about it was the giant grins they all had on their faces. Full of fucking joy.

Jeff will be missed.

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posted by knapah at 4:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


\m/ . \m/
posted by Vindaloo at 4:38 AM on May 3, 2013


SLAYER WAS MY BEATLES.
\m/ \m/ \m/ Reign in blood, Jeff!
posted by Renoroc at 4:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


\m/ .
posted by dbscissors at 6:47 AM on May 3, 2013


RIP Jeff. Hell awaits.
posted by josher71 at 6:49 AM on May 3, 2013


(also, death is fucking you insane)
posted by josher71 at 6:49 AM on May 3, 2013


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posted by El Brendano at 7:32 AM on May 3, 2013


I love Slayer. Jeff Hanneman was the real talent in that band.
posted by snottydick at 8:14 AM on May 3, 2013


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posted by jpziller at 8:24 AM on May 3, 2013


I was never a Slayer fan, but I could always appreciate them thanks to metalhead fans.
In fact, Roots was probably a seminal song in my understanding of metal.

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Also, a spider-bite....
posted by Mezentian at 9:02 AM on May 3, 2013


In fact, Roots was probably a seminal song in my understanding of metal.

Are you thinking of Sepultura? Or am I forgetting a Slayer song?

posted by knapah at 9:14 AM on May 3, 2013


Roots was probably a seminal song in my understanding of metal, but you are correct. I had totally the wrong band.
So, so ashamed.

Working backwards I am thinking that Seasons in the Abyss and Reign In Blood were albums I initially hated because gruff voice-thump-thump-devilgrrrr, but my metal head chums from high school all loved the same bands, and the logos looked the same I am so much older now but Metallica and "Roots Bloody Roots" (I even got the name wrong) convinced me to go back and re-evaluate all of that riotous noise.

And I am so, so ashamed. I used to remember this stuff.
posted by Mezentian at 9:23 AM on May 3, 2013


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posted by poseathon at 9:34 AM on May 3, 2013


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I hadn't listened to any of their albums for years, but pulled Undisputed Attitude out recently - an album of furious punk covers.

It's very different from the rest of their stuff but in my mind still stands out as one of their most interesting albums, and as an album that got me listening to punk...

NECROTIZING FASCITIIS!
posted by Riton at 10:00 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Last Friday night I was up past one with George Jones turned to 11. If my neighbors liked that, I'm sure they'll love what might happen tonight.
posted by lost_cause at 10:16 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I saw what must have been one of Hanneman's last performances at the Big 4 in Indio in April 2011 (and referenced in this ask.metafilter.) He was already public about his condition and too ill to play a show, but came on for the last two songs in Slayer's set.
posted by zippy at 11:54 AM on May 3, 2013


Thanks for the tinnitus in my left ear, Jeff. Totally worth it. You brought so much joy to so many of us.

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posted by Cookiebastard at 12:35 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, so ashamed.

There is no shame here!
posted by knapah at 12:54 PM on May 3, 2013


Their album titled God Hates Us All was released on 9/11 2001. A perfectly Slayer coincidence.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 1:14 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow. There's never been another band quite like Slayer. I saw them in 1990-91. It was almost like being bombarded with a wall of white noise, it was so fast and blistering.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:32 PM on May 3, 2013


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posted by adamd1 at 3:00 PM on May 3, 2013


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posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 4:20 PM on May 3, 2013


solo: hanneman
solo: king
solo: hanneman
posted by SharkParty at 4:28 PM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Reign in Blood" was a lifeline for me. When I didn't want to live, "Reign In Blood" scoured me out and left me renewed. There aren't many albums I can point to and honestly say, "Listening to this saved my life."

That sounds melodramatic. But it isn't hyperbole.

When I am in the dark place, submerged and ready to stop fighting, I play "Reign In Blood" and it gives me the strength to keep fucking shit up.

Thanks, Jeff.

Death to false metal. Slayer forever.

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posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:08 PM on May 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


SoH is one of my all time favorites, I just recommended it to my boss as excellent driving music... R.I.P. Jeff
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posted by MikeMc at 6:32 PM on May 3, 2013


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\m/
posted by halonine at 11:37 PM on May 3, 2013


The Westboro Baptist Church has, predictably, announced plans to picket the funeral. Fred Phelps... vs. Slayer fans. Have you ever been to a Slayer concert? These fucking guys punch each other full on in the face in the pit and laugh about it.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:01 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don’t Blame Spider Bite For Felling Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman

The necrotizing fasciitis and the liver failure both are awful – but despite the tidiness of the narrative suggesting that the old necrotizing fasciitis caused the new liver failure, the story is exactly the opposite: people with severe underlying medical problems, such as chronic liver disease, are at increased risk for necrotizing fasciitis. So rather than the 2011 illness influencing his death, it is more likely that the very illness that killed him – liver failure – was the same condition that predisposed him to the near-death experience two years ago....

The CDC has begun to turn a great deal of attention to hepatitis C, which affects 3-4 million people in the US and often is mild when first acquired. Because of its initial clinical subtlety, it may remain undiagnosed for decades, found only when a person has already developed advanced cirrhosis (late-stage scarring from infection), a condition that can be remedied only by a liver transplant.

posted by dhartung at 2:58 AM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Confirmation from the band that the official cause of death was alcohol related cirrhosis.
posted by evisceratordeath at 7:37 PM on May 9, 2013


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