Slayer at Jaap Edenhal, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 3rd of May 1987.
In the summer of 1985, I saw Slayer for the first time in a small club in Luttenberg, somewhere in the Eastern part of the Netherlands. Freshly graduated from school, I decided to leave my camera at home and just go there to have a good time. Later on, I regretted this decision. The place was fully packed with excited people and Slayer was hungry to conquer the stage.
After this European tour things progressed very fast for the band, and a recording contract with Def Jam Records (a Hip Hop label) was offered and accepted. For the first time in their career they had the possibility to have a major label recording budget and the opportunity to work with an experienced producer named Rick Rubin.
Slayer’s third full-length album “Reign in Blood” saw the light and Def Jam's distributor, Columbia Records, refused to release the album due to the song “Angel of Death”. Every metal head knows this background story. So I am not planning going to write a thesis about this, but if you want to know more… Google will help.
Because of the controversial/shocking lyrics of that song the established press, who were very critical at that time, didn’t want to interview Slayer. But it’s for exactly that reason….. I wanted to.
The A&R representative of WEA Netherlands arranged an interview for me with vocalist & bass player Tom Araya. Also, I brought in a good friend of mine, who was a big Slayer fan, into the session. Because of my friend’s knowledge of the band, I knew we would be armed with some good questions. Tom was a great guy, intelligent, with a good sense of humour. This made our job so much easier because we could ask him anything about the recently released album from the perspective of a fan. We had an absolute ball with Tom and before we knew it, the time was up….
“What goes on the road, stays on the road” is one of the key rules of a touring band and even today - still is. But there was a lot at stake on this tour and Slayer had an issue with their drummer, Dave Lombardo. He had forced the band to accept he was going to bring his wife to join him on tour. The band chipped in and the couple were frequently spotted after the soundcheck in the Jaap Edenhal.
O Yeah before I forget …there was also an incident before Slayer started to play. One fan got onto the stage and showed his muscles to the yelling crowd. Meanwhile one security guy tried to catch him but failed because the fan made a high kickbox kick towards him. The security guy was struck by it and fell over a couple of the located monitor speakers. The spectating crowd went berserk, and the kickboxer made his escape with a stage dive.
And after all Slayer would not be Slayer if they put in some controversy in the existing rules. The present photographing press was rewarded with their variant of the three-song rule. So, we could shoot the first three – and the last three songs. Enjoy!!!!