Grief and shock rippled through the heavy metal community yesterday at the late-breaking news that founding Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman had died at the age of 49. The band released a terse statement on their official website, Slayer.net, yesterday afternoon saying “Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed. Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 – 2013)”.
There are a few important factors that make hard rock and heavy metal music one of THE best genres in music:
1. Musicians who can head bang and hold a chord
2. The fans (that’s a no-brainer)
3. Facial Hair
I know you probably think we are crazy for even saying that, but can you imagine Ozzy Osbourne with a mustache like Tom Selleck? Zakk Wylde with a unibrow? Or maybe even KISS with ZZ Top beards? Strange right? (We can only imagine how long it would take to get the paint out.)
Last week on That Metal Show, we were joined by Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) and John 5 who brought nothing less than amazing riffs for the second week in a row as our guest musician. We also paid homage to the rockers with the best facial hair and counted down our TMS Top 5 Facial Hair in Rock with help from heavy metal rocker Marilyn Manson. Here’s our TMS Top 5 list of artists with the Best Facial Hair in Rock:
The VH1 Classic America’s Hard 100 Countdown Poll is nearing its end but we’ve still got more classic hard rock and heavy metal tunes that need sorting and we need your help! We’ve put together a list of 100 essential rockers but we need you to vote on them to let us know where they should fall in the America’s Hard 100 Countdown when it airs this November.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You can vote AS MANY TIMES and for AS MANY SONGS as you want, simply click on “Return To Poll” after your initial ballot. If your favorite hard rock jam is missing from today’s list please click on one of the previous days polls which are still open and keep checking back daily as we add new songs to new lists.
Today “The Boys Are Back In Town” by seminal Irish hard rockers Thin Lizzy goes up against Soundgarden’s grunge metal opus “Black Hole Sun,” Ozzy Osbourne’s metal standard “Crazy Train” featuring the late guitarist Randy Rhoads and technical thrash act Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets” plus more.
Today progressive hard rockers Rush’s almost-hit “Limelight” goes up against thrash masters Slayer’s harrowing “Seasons In The Abyss” and the surging alternative grunge of Stone Temple Pilots‘s “Wicked Garden,” plus classics from Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot and more.
We had to recruit Evan Seinfeld (Attika7) for one of the toughest TMS Top 5 lists we’ve have ever done on the show: Best Screams on a song. There are so many shrieks and shrills out there in the music world, including the ones we can never forget, like the haunting scream in “Child In Time” by Deep Purple and “Angel of Death” by Slayer (Side note: This one still scares Jim Florentine to this day.) We could easily debate Top 5 Rob Halford Screams, not to mention those of Sebastian Bach, but then we remembered it’s called the TMS Top 5, not Top 100 – So, here’s our top 5:
This week on That Metal Show, we had Alice Cooper, Jack Russell (Great White), and Brian Tichy rockin’ out on drums. We also asked Scott Ian (Anthrax) to stop by and be our first ever celebrity guest to participate in the “TMS Top 5,” and he helped us figure out the Top 5 Guitar duos of all-time. With all of the hard rock and heavy metal bands out there, it was pretty tough to come up with just five, but as you know, it’s called the “TMS Top 5,” so we’re keeping with tradition.
“Metal dudes are people, too!” you shout, and we hear ya, we honestly do. But here’s the thing — we like to live under the fantasy, however inaccurate, that metal dudes just do totally awesome metal stuff all the time. We want to believe that metal dudes go around biting the heads off bats, smashing guitars, sticking it to the man and headbanging ALL THE TIME. The same way we like to believe that pop stars all eat, sleep and go to the gym in their elaborate costumes, rappers freestyle battle each other in the street and country singers all know how to lasso like cowboys.
Obviously, the illusions we live under (yes, we’re twisted, we know, but being twisted is like, SO metal), are unrealistic, and we have to admit we get a perverted sense of pleasure when the wall does come down. So if you want to see what metal dudes are doing when they’re not being metal, and just being sort of, well, regular, click through to our gallery below! Beware: there are images of James Hetfield WEARING A KNITTED SCARF! Slipknot‘s Corey Taylor READING BOOKS! Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine HANGING OUT WITH A GEORGE W. BUSH IMPERSONATOR! If this is all just too much for you and all you want is to see metal guys being, like, totally metal, then check out National Metal Day on VH1 Classic, airing all day today!
[Photos: Getty Images]
Each Friday here on the VH1 Blog, our VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer (@jimshearer on Twitter) will be sharing his Shearer?s Spotlight with us. Be sure to tune into the Top 20 Countdown tomorrow morning when it airs on VH1 at 9 a.m. ET/PT.
Next Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Big 4 Festival will descend upon Yankee Stadium in New York City. The participants will include the ?big four? bands (i.e., pillars, staples, torch bearers, etc.) of thrash metal music: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Here are some other acts that could pull off a Big 4 Festival of their own:
1) Big 4 of Millennial Pop: Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys
This past summer, the Backstreet Boys created some buzz when they toured with their boy-band predecessors, New Kids On The Block, as NKOTBSB; but could you imagine the pandemonium they could create by teaming up with late ?90s peer/rival, *NSYNC? The reunions alone would sell tickets on this tour: Justin and *NSYNC, Justin and Britney, Britney and Christina, and three old Mouseketeers back together again.