Drummer, Nick Menza, former member of the heavy metal band Megadeth, passed away at age 51 after collapsing on stage at a Los Angeles club late on Saturday, said a family spokesman, J. Marshall Craig, who is also Menza’s biographers. The latter also added that Menza collapsed while performing with his current band OHM at the Baked Potato club in Studio City, California, where he lived.
Menza collapsed during the band’s performance of their 3rd song of the first set late on Saturday, Craig said. Once he collapsed audience members and friends gathered and tried to resuscitate him while waiting for medics to arrive, however Menza lost his life in an ambulance en route to a local hospital after 25 minutes.
“Despite his excellent health and extremely active, sober lifestyle, a heart attack is his suspected, though not confirmed, cause of death,” Craig said. An autopsy will be performed, he said.
Menza was asked by Megadeth co-founder Dave Mustaine to join the band in 1989, after first playing live with the group the year before in Bradford, England, according to Menza’s website. Noting that Menza was the longest-serving drummer for the bank and had recorded drums and toured on the albums “Rust in Peace,” “Countdown to Extinction,” “Youthanasia” and “Cryptic Writings”.
Halfway through a 1998 tour, Menza discovered a tumor on his knee and was forced to leave for surgery, thus he was replaced and wasn’t asked to join again.
In an upcoming memoir, Menza has nothing but praise for his former bandmates. Moreover he had been playing in OHM, which included fellow Megadeth alumnus Chris Poland, for more than one year after various solo stints, Craig said.
Menza was also an accomplished artist and woodworker, and was set to unveil an art series in Houston next month.