Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza is the most recent fallen star to lend a bit of truth to the Neitzchean assertion that few men die at the right time. As previously reported by Inquisitr, the 51-year-old musician and father-of-two died suddenly on Saturday night while performing onstage with his current band OHM. Although Menza’s stint with Megadeth officially ended in 1998, longtime fans of the band recall Nick Menza and guitarist Marty Friedman as integral members of the band’s “classic” lineup.
Despite the fact that Nick Menza was unceremoniously dismissed from Megadeth at the end of his official run and later dropped from plans for a reunion, the former drummer was remembered fondly by founder Dave Mustaine, according to Rolling Stone. The magazine re-published portions of a statement issued by Mustaine, in which the singer and guitarist reminisced about Menza’s humble beginnings as a crew member for the band.
“Originally a tech for the band, Nick soon displayed such talent and personality, it didn’t take long for us to realize he belonged onstage with us behind the kit … We asked Nick to join Megadeth as our drummer in 1989. At the time, the band already had its first [gold] album, which only served to stoke the fire. We all wanted world domination, with so much of our lives and dreams ahead of us.”
Mustaine also noted Nick Menza’s role in the band’s most successful albums, acknowledging some occasional discord while noting that their relationship transcended any differences of opinion.
“As we navigated through the pitfalls of life and the music business, our first album with Nick, Rust in Peace, and subsequent albums Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia, kept up the momentum. We parted ways after Cryptic Writings. We, like all brothers, would disagree at times, but our bond was strong throughout.”
Indeed, Dave Mustaine has expressed a desire to help Nick Menza’s family in their hour of need, announcing that he intends to organize a benefit concert in the near future. According to music news outlet Ultimate Classic Rock, Mustaine hopes to enlist as many former Megadeth members as possible for the show.
[T]he band has already agreed [to] do a benefit in California,” Mustaine said during an interview with Albany, New York station Q103 on Sunday. “We’re working out the details… We’re hoping to leave an open stage for all of the alumni for Megadeth to come there and play with us, so that we can help leave behind something for Nick’s children, which I think had been kind of left in a bad way. We wanted to get all that stuff set up and right now the wheels are all turning.”
Prior to founding Megadeth, Dave Mustaine played lead guitar for the influential metal band Metallica. he was eventually replaced by Kirk Hammett prior to the band’s major label debut, Kill ‘Em All. [Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for SiriusXM][/caption]
Surviving members and alumni from Megadeth include bassist Dave Ellefson, who played with Nick Menza in the band’s “classic” lineup. Guitarist Marty Friedman, who also played in the band with Menza, also enlisted the former drummer for a number of post-Megadeth solo albums. Chris Poland, who performed with Megadeth from 1984 to 1987, also performed with Nick Menza in OHM at the time of Nick Menza’s death.
According to Blabbermouth, early reports indicate that Nick Menza died as the result of a heart attack, but official details are in short supply at present. While medics attempted to perform CPR on him after responding to the scene on Saturday night, Nick Menza remained unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.
[Photo by Ben Garvin/Getty Images]