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JEFF HANNEMAN ON HIS NEAR-FATAL SPIDER BITE: “SATAN HAD MY BACK”

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UPDATED:

Jeff Hanneman has been out of commission for most of 2011, even missing Slayer’s appearances at various Big Four shows, due to almost dying from a spider bite — which, as far as ways to almost die go, is incredibly fucking metal.

Now Hanneman has recounted the tale of his near-death experience in an interview with Classic Rock, and not only is it chock-full of surprisingly funny quotes (like the one in my headline) and details (his doctor at the hospital was a Slayer fan), but with the simple line “I could see the flesh corrupting,” it proves that Hanneman talks the same way he writes lyrics. Which is, y’know, awesome.

Here’s the juicy part of the interview:

Hanneman was kicking back in a hot tub with a couple of beers when noticed a spider bite him on the arm.

“Didn’t even feel it,” he says now. “But an hour later, I knew that I was ill.” On his way to the hospital, “I could see the flesh corrupting,” he recalls. “The arm was real hot. I got to the emergency room, and thank god the nurse knew straight away what it was. By chance, although it’s pretty rare, she had seen a case a little while before. At that point, I was an hour away from death.”

Although the spider bite itself was not serious, it had caused bacterial infection in the deeper layers of the skin and tissues of the arm.

“Unbelivably, the doctor was a SLAYER fan,” says Hanneman, “First thing he said to me was: ‘First I am going to save your life. Then I am going to save your arm. Then I am going to save your career.'”

Hanneman underwent emergency surgery to remove the dead and dying tissue. The doctor was able to save the muscles and the tendons, but the guitarist had a large open wound on his arm. He spent the next two months in hospital, having extensive skin grafts and heavy doses of antibiotics to suppress the infection.

“I had to learn to walk again,” Hanneman says: “I hadn’t stood up for a month, apart from anything else. The skin grafts were very painful and all the muscles and tendons in the arm where very weak. That was ok though. I count myself lucky that the nurse and doctor knew right away what had happened to me, because things could have been a whole lot worse.”

“It’s the kind of thing I might have written a song about,” he acknowledges. “Everything that could go wrong this year did, but you know, it turned out okay. Satan had my back.”

HOLY SHIT, this is why I love Slayer so much. If this had happened to Dave Mustaine, we’d have to hear all about how he was saved by Dave Ellefson praying for him or whatever, but not Jeff Hanneman, the man who almost died after getting bitten by a spider while chillin’ with some brews in his hot tub. Fuckin’ A.

-AR

[via Metal Injection, who also have the most awesome illustrated depiction of this event imaginable]

ORIGINAL POST:

Photo Credit:  www.AndrewStuart.me

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-AR

[via █████ █████████, who ████ ████ the ████ ███████ ███████████ █████████ of ████ █████ ██████████]

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