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The Night Slayer Met the 9/11 Heroes

 

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In case you haven’t heard the good news, legendary thrash metal pioneers Slayer are coming to Billings for a big show with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus on May 11th.  To celebrate, I wanted to share a story with you.  I was not there, so I cannot confirm the specific details of this urban legend.  However, several reliable sources were there and they stand by their account.  This is the night that Slayer Met a Group of  New York City Firefighters and Policemen.

It was December 9, 2001.  I was working on a rock station in Fresno, California.  That evening, the band Slayer brought their “God Hates the World Tour” to a run down old venue called the Rainbow Ballroom.

Coincidentally, a local company called “Pelco” had recently erected a memorial shrine to commemorate the terrorist attacks on 9/11.  Several dozen New York Firefighters  and Policemen were flown to California for the ceremony.  As fate would have it, some of those heroes happened to be drinking in the same bar as a few members of Slayer.  The party ended up back at a local hotel and would rage into the wee hours of the morning.

I remember the phone waking me up.  It was nearly 2 am and my co-worker, a dude named Koyote, called me up and said, “Dude, get in your car and drive down the Radisson Hotel”.  He went on to explain that the guys from Slayer had met some of the FDNY and NYPD and they were all hanging out at the hotel.  Koyote had been invited to the party by his then roomate, who worked for the California Highway Patrol.

At the time, I was drunk and already half asleep.  I hung up the phone and went back to bed. The next day, Koyote filled me in on the details.  ”Dude, you missed the most epic party of all time”.

According to his eyewitness account, several of the firefighters and policemen struck up a friendship with  Slayer’s road crew.  They happened to be staying at the same hotel.  The party ended up taking over an entire floor.  Meanwhile, the guys in Slayer were instructing the firefighters and cops “how to properly destroy a hotel room”.  Koyote claims he was almost struck in the head by a flying beer bottle, while the band was attempting to teach their guests the best way to hurl a glass bottle at an elevator door.  ”No man, (throws bottle) this is how you smash a beer bottle.”

Of course, no story of rock n roll debauchery is complete without nudity.   The Slayer road crew encouraged a few of their female fans to “express their appreciation” for the 9/11 heroes.  The band also challenged several of the firefighters and police officers to a “urinating contest” off of the top floor balcony.  At some point during the mayhem, the hotel staff threatened to contact the local authorities.  Much to their dismay, many of the local authorities were already there, acting as hosts for the visiting dignitaries.  The band itself even admitted that they were “out partied” by the cops and firemen.

At first I didn’t believe everything I had been told about the party.  Until some of the more sordid details were later confirmed to me by one of the local policemen who was in attendance.  He estimated the damage done to the hotel was “in the tens of thousands”.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend some awesome parties in my day, but that’s one I really regret missing out on.  Just to say I was there while a group of heroic cops and firefighters mourned with one of the greatest thrash metal bands of all time.  Oh well, next time.

 

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