SLAYER’S STILL REIGNING DVD…the aftermath
Augusta Civic Center
July 11, 2004
(These photos and many others now available for sale. Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)
Part five of a five-part series I am doing this week as I look back at the making of Slayer’s Still Reigning DVD. From load in to load out, I was there with the band.
As we walked down the hallway back towards the band’s dressing room, I studied their bloodied faces. They looked amazing…even Jeff, who was not thickly covered in blood. I had to capture this moment. I told the band, “Don’t wash your faces, don’t even touch them.” Luckily, I had planned ahead and set up a couple of studio lights in one of the showers in Slayer’s dressing room…just in case they walked off the stage looking like they did at that moment.
I didn’t even let the guys put their guitars down, I grabbed all of them and walked them straight in front of my lights. The band was still huffing and puffing as I snapped away. These photos have turned out to be pretty important shots in terms of Slayer History. All the Slayer guys were in great moods. Kerry and Jeff were comparing stories about how hard it was to play their leads on the slick, bloodied guitars. Dave explained how blood kept splashing into his face when he would hit his snare drum. I grabbed Kerry and Tom and did some bloody solo shots of them and then I told them that I was done and they could shower off. Funny thing is, I don’t think these guys wanted to wash the blood off…they probably would have kept it on all night if they could have. But the blood was starting to dry up and get sticky and hard.
As I began packing up my gear, I caught a glimpse of Tom walking into the shower (yes, he was fully dressed!). I noticed how the blood mixed with the water…it just looked so morbid I had to photograph it. Tom loved the idea and I snapped and snapped as Tom rinsed the blood from his body and clothing. The photograph of Tom’s feet surrounded by a pool of blood ended up as the artwork on the DVD itself in the Still Reigning packaging.
Surprisingly, Jeff was in great spirits despite the mishap. Sure, he was bummed, but he was so proud that his dream became a reality. Jeff’s answer to this mishap – “I guess we will just have to do it again…maybe take it on the road.” And that is exactly what they did. On their next tour, select cities and venues were treated to the bloody shower of rain – although the touring version was a much more toned down version. The pouring buckets of blood were missing and the pouring blood rain was a much more watered down version. Nevertheless, it was still very exciting to witness such an extravaganza. It was an honor to have been hand picked by Slayer to document this historical event for them.