Shane Young and his fellow long-haired metalhead friends stand outside the Slayer autograph session at Hot Topic, and chat with Rita Haney, longtime girlfriend of the late Pantera guitarist Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott. "Show her," Young's friends with patchy facial hair say, gathering around him in a group of denim jackets with Slayer badges.
"Alright," Young coyly agrees shaking his stringy reddish mane as he sits on the floor of this cheesy mall at Hollywood and Highland. He unlaces his black boot, and reveals a mangled foot, missing a big toe, his other toes twisted like tree branches. "A 3 foot tigershark bit my toes off," Young tells Haney, who from behind her sunglasses looks impressed. She grabs his hand, leads him to the Slayer table, where three kings of American metal (sans injured bassist/vocalist Tom Araya) have been signing autographs for ravenous fans of all ages.
You can read the rest of Drew's article and see all the photos here at the LA Weekly website. SLAYER is off to Canada this weekend, then to Europe, with no North American dates announced yet. Many critics are calling World Painted Blood a return to form. Maybe I'm too easy on SLAYER because they set me down this path, but I never thought they lost it.