Shred’n Heaven

Death by Party | Rip Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman

Where in the world is Ralph Sphinx? Carmen Sandiego’s getting a tad bit jealous with the notion that his magenta ’94 Cavalier is a bit less ubiquitous than that Waldo fella. Mikey from Life cereal is turning in his Coca Cola con Pop Rocks infested cultural grave. Jim Morrison is lost in a Peruvian mountain pointing his finger at the newest Unknown Soldier while somewhere deep in the heart of some downtrodden West Texas town Andy Kaufman is finding out that there’s no basement in the Alamo courtesy of an old VHS collection he’s been keenly watching to catch-up with a world we all think he misses.

Yet I’m stuck with nothing more than an out of service house line and memories I can’t convince myself to forget. Long drives into school, crossing a bridge in days before EZ Pass, wishing I had a hippie deadhead to spark me up, or a short-skirted brunette babe to get my adolescence pumped. Unfortunately I was reduced to having to share my 45- minute commute to an all-boy school with a future accountant. A man who was born to be an accountant, from a family of accountants, and one day, a patriarch to future generations of accountants. He was a cheap man, or to be kind, a simple one; and a man whose favorite band lost one of its cornerstones today.

Jeff Hanneman was the guitarist for a band that probably gave a nickname to at least one or two kids in pretty much any suburban high school in the country. Everybody knew a ‘Slayer’ growing up. It’s as common as the drunk that yells Freebird at your typical rock show. What’s unfortunate is that while many knew the band from their intense blood red meme or by the outcast that sported any of their merchandise, most non-metal heads have never really sat down to appreciate the fine intricacies that went into their music, or to put it plain and simple, the shred. The guitar world may have lost one of its innovators today however the heavens have gained its newest proponent. Somewhere in this world or the next; Ralph Sphinx is popping in a Slayer cassette and getting lost in shredding heaven.

By Lou Cervantes

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One Response to “Shred’n Heaven”

  1. ButchieYost says:

    All boys? Ronnie, you a poofter?

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