Kerry King

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kerry King
Kerry King Kiev 04.JPG
Kerry King live with Slayer
Background information
Birth name Kerry Ray King
Born (1964-06-03) June 3, 1964 (age 50)[1]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Thrash metal
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1981–present
Labels Def Jam, American, Metal Blade, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Slayer, Megadeth, Witchery, Sum 41, Marilyn Manson
Notable instruments
B.C. Rich

Kerry Ray King (born June 3, 1964) is an American musician, best known as a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and has been a member ever since. He has made guest appearances with acts including the Beastie Boys, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Anthrax, Ice-T, Witchery, Sum 41, Megadeth and Metallica. He is known for playing B.C. Rich guitars with Marshall amplifiers.


Kerry Ray King was born on June 3, 1964 in Los Angeles, California. His father was an aircraft parts inspector, and his mother was an employee of a telephone company.[1] When he was a teenager, Kerry started learning guitar at Calvano's music in South Gate Ca. Russ Dismuke was his teacher.[citation needed] Kerry attended Warren High School in Downey, CA. In 1981 King was trying out for the position as a guitarist in a band. After the session was over Jeff Hanneman approached him and the two began playing Iron Maiden and Judas Priest songs with the session drummer. King and Hanneman decided after this to start their own band. [2] King's trademark appearance was praised to such a degree by Blender magazine, who included a tour of his body ink.[3] King's acronym, KFK, was revealed to mean "Kerry Fuckin' King" in the January 2007 Issue of Guitar World.[4] King currently resides in Corona, California.[4]

Guest appearances[edit]

In addition to appearing on Slayer's albums, he has also made several guest appearances as lead guitarist. While lending production to 1986’s Reign in Blood, Rick Rubin was also helming production of the Beastie Boys debut album Licensed to Ill. Rubin felt the track "No Sleep till Brooklyn" needed a guitar solo, so he called King to lay down the part.[5] King has since commented that his playing ability "certainly wasn’t that of a virtuoso".[5] "No Sleep till Brooklyn", whose title was a spoof on Motörhead’s 1981 live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, was originally intended to feature King being knocked offstage by a gorilla in its music video though King refused.[5] King replied, "If there’s gonna be anyone knocking anyone offstage, it’ll be me knocking the gorilla", which is what subsequently happened.[5] King has reminisced that he thought the Beastie Boys were cool, although never having heard any of their music at the time.[5] On Licensed to Ill, King also played the guitar solo on the song "Fight For Your Right (To Party)".[6]

King contributed a lead guitar outro part to Pantera’s song "Goddamn Electric", which appeared on the 2000 album Reinventing the Steel.[7] King’s rig was set up in Pantera’s bathroom backstage just after Ozzfest in Dallas, as the group still didn't have their own dressing room on top of not appearing on the festival bill.[7] After King had finished the first take, Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell ran in and yelled "DON’T LET HIM DO IT AGAIN!"[7] King tried again with the hope he would find a superior rendition, though the first take was used.[7] King has also made several guest appearances in Marilyn Manson's "Rape Of The World" tour, joining the band to play classic tracks such as "Little Horn", "1996" and "Irresponsible Hate Anthem". Many fans noticed elements of King's own style used on these occasions.[8] On October 21, 2010, the finale date of the Jägermeister Music Tour, King joined Megadeth on stage, at the Gibson Amphitheater in Hollywood, California to perform "Rattlehead" which was the first time in 26 years that King has shared the stage with Megadeth and Inan with his band.[9]

Style and influence[edit]

Kerry King at Nova Rock 2014

Kerry King's first experience with a guitar was when he was a child.[10] Early albums, such as Hell Awaits and Reign in Blood, featured a "wailing style" and "demented soloing often mimicking the screams of the song's victims."[11] Steve Huey of Allmusic described his and Jeff Hannemans guitar solos as "wildly chaotic,".[12] Thom Jurek, also of Allmusic, described his work on 2006's Christ Illusion as "create an intensely harrowing and angular riff that changes from verse to verse, through the refrain and bridge, and comes back again."[13]

King listed Venom, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath as his favourite bands during the teen years.[14] He cited Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing of Judas Priest as his biggest influences as a guitarist, that inspire his style, tone and gear. He mentioned Eddie Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Ronnie Montrose, Ritchie Blackmore, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Randy Rhoads as other influences.[15]

Family life[edit]

He divorced once and had a daughter with his first wife; his current wife is Ayesha King.[16]




  1. ^ a b McIver, Joel (2010). The Bloody Reign of Slayer. Omnibus Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-84938-386-8. 
  2. ^ Davis, Brian. " interview with Jeff Hanneman". Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  3. ^ "Tour of Kerry King's Tattoos". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. , Blender Online, retrieved on March 2, 2007
  4. ^ a b Lahtinen, Lexi (2004-11-04). "Kerry King of SLAYER". Retrieved 2006-01-24. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "An exclusive oral history of Slayer". Decibel Magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-08-13. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  6. ^ McIver, Joel (2002). Nu Metal - The Next Generation Of Rock & Punk (Omnibus Press). Omnibus Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7119-9209-2. 
  7. ^ a b c d Davis, Brian (2004-11-10). "Exclusive! Interview With Slayer Guitarist Kerry King". Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  8. ^ 2008/02/23 Los Angeles, CA -
  9. ^ "Blabbermouth.Net - Slayer'S Kerry King To Perform With Megadeth Tonight!". Retrieved 2010-10-25. 
  10. ^ McIver, Joel (2010). The Bloody Reign of Slayer. Omnibus Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-84938-386-8. 
  11. ^ Huey, Steve. "Reign in Blood". Allmusic. Retrieved 2006-01-24. 
  12. ^ Steve Huey "Slayer". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  13. ^ Thom Jurek "Christ Illusion - Slayer". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  14. ^ Peter McLennan. "15 minutes with Slayer". 
  15. ^ "Kerry King - It's Good To Be King". 
  16. ^ Beck, Aaron (2007-02-10). "After 25 years, Slayer keeps casting metal". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2007-02-25. 
  17. ^ a b atera, Joe (2006-08-04). "Slayer's Kerry King: The Art Of Writing Songs That Nobody Else Can Write". Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  18. ^ a b "World Painted Blood" (Compact Disc). Slayer. American, Sony Music. 2009. 
  19. ^ Mangum, Eric (1995). DOD Presents 100 Superstar Guitar Sounds on a Stompbox Budget. Cherry Lane Music. p. 40. ISBN 1-57560-342-X. 
  20. ^ Christe, Ian (2004). Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal. It Books. ISBN 0-380-81127-8. 
  21. ^ "Haunting the Chapel - Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  22. ^ "Live Undead - Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  23. ^ Gueraseva, Stacy (2005). Def Jam, Inc. : Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World's Most Influential Hip-Hop Label. One World. p. 73. ISBN 0-345-46804-X. 
  24. ^ Ferris, D.X. (2008). Reign in Blood (33⅓). Continuum. p. 45. ISBN 0-8264-2909-2. 
  25. ^ "South of Heaven - Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  26. ^ "Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  27. ^ Bukszpan, Daniel (2003). The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. Sterling. p. 210. ISBN 0-7607-4218-9. 
  28. ^ Morris, Chris (1994-07-23). "American's Platinum Plans For Slayer". Billboard: 14. 
  29. ^ "Undisputed Attitude - Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  30. ^ "Diabolus in Musica - Slayer". AllMusic. 1998-06-09. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  31. ^ Faeth, Laura (2008). I FOUND ALL THE PARTS: Healing the Soul Through Rock 'n' Roll. Sound of Your Soul (an imprint of Wyatt-MacKenzie). p. 7. ISBN 1-932279-91-1. 
  32. ^ "Slayer: 'Eternal Pyre' Single Enters Finnish Chart At No. 2!". 2007-06-05.
  33. ^ "Slayer's Kerry King Says Forthcoming Album 'Has A Little Bit Of Everything' ". 2009-05-20.
  34. ^ "World Painted Blood - Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-10-29. 
  35. ^ Ro, Ronin (2005). Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin, and Redemption of Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay. p. 187. ISBN 0-06-078195-5. 
  36. ^ Guitar World Presents Nu-Metal. Hal Leonard. 2002. p. 32. ISBN 0-634-03287-9. 
  37. ^ "Loud Rock". CMJ. 69 No. 11 (742): 16. 2001-12-10. 
  38. ^ "Sum 41 - It's What We're All About (CD) at Discogs". Retrieved 2010-10-30. 

External links[edit]