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Slayer’s Gary Holt pays tribute to his late father

(Image credit: Scott Legato - Getty)

Slayer guitarist Gary Holt has payed tribute to his father, who died earlier this week.

Holt left Slayer’s European tour earlier this month to return home to care for his dad (opens in new tab), with former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel stepping in to help his friend to complete the live shows.

Holt posted an emotional message on Instagram, which reads: “Today I lost my hero, the greatest man I’ve ever known or will know. Billie Charles Holt passed away this evening, with my mom and all his kids present, knowing he was loved and respected more than anyone. 

“This man was a god among men, he taught me everything I ever needed to know about being a man. Lessons that took a long time for me to realise the truth behind them all. He built the family home by hand and paved the sidewalk of my street when it was just dirt. True greatness.

“I fed him his last meal, he wanted to rest, and passed in his sleep later. I love you dad. I’m broken. What feels like beyond repair at this moment. But he’s no longer in pain.”

Holt later posted an image of himself with his family after Exodus played in Oakland in 1989, adding: “My dad was fucking proud of me, loved watching me from afar and a couple of time in person.

“I miss him so much, waves of grief hit at random times. I’m struggling. But I know I need to remember that he lived full and free and loved big. And he was suffering in the end, but I’m happy he didn’t suffer long.”

Holt adds: “I am crushed. I will survive this. I will make sure my mom never wants for anything. Family first. But when the head of that family is gone, we become rudderless for a time. 

“Thank you for all the kind words, I truly am amazed and touched. You are my friends, no matter if we have ever met or not. I know they say life goes on, I’ve got to get through these next few days, and whatever lies beyond for me. Thank you all.”

Today I lost my hero, the greatest man I’ve ever known or will know. Billie Charles Holt passed away this evening, with my mom and all his kids present, knowing he was loved and respected more than anyone. This man was a god among men, he taught me everything I ever needed to know about being a MAN. Lessons that took a long time for me to realize the truth behind them all.He built the family home by hand and paved the sidewalk of my street when it was just dirt. True greatness.I fed him his last meal, he wanted to rest, and passed in his sleep later.I love you dad. I’m broken. What feels like beyond repair at this moment. But he’s no longer in pain. Thank you to all who ever sent me positive vibes and whoever wished me well during this trying time. Thank you @demmelitionmh for aiding me to get home to enjoy what was one of his last “good” days he had, that and the day he had with my daughters. Thank you to my band mates in both bands who had my back in every way. Thanks to my brothers and my sister and entire family for bringing strength in this family unit.This is shattering. I feel empty and lost. @lisaholt777 thank you for keeping me from imploding. Super thanks to my niece Ashley , you were the single greatest gift to your grandfathers care and comfort.Dad, I’ll try to live up to your standards in every way. July 6,1933-December 17,2018. Love you forever.This hurts so much Gary Holt (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @garyholt_official on Dec 17, 2018 at 11:37pm PST

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.