NewsMay 22, 2016 10:08 AM ET15,073 views

ex-Megadeth drummer Nick Menza dies during show

former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza dies Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza passed away last night (May 21) while performing in Los Angeles, California with the band OHM. Menza, who was 51 years old reportedly collapsed during the third song of OHM's set. Heart failure is the apparent cause of death. Menza was a member of Megadeth from 1989 through 1998, and again in 2004, performing on what are arguably the two most popular Megadeth albums, Rust In Peace (1990) and Countdown To Extinction (1992). UPDATE: Megadeth mastermind Dave Mustaine had the following to say via Twitter: "TELL ME THIS ISN'T TRUE! I woke at 4 AM to hear Nick Menza passed away on May 21 playing his drums w/ Ohm at the Baked Potato. I'm gutted." Megadeth bassist David Ellefson wrote on Facebook: "Condolences to the Nick Menza family and friends. We have lost a gentle giant... A true artist and friend to us all." Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman had this to say: "We all know the great and unique drummer that Nick Menza was, but he was also a trustworthy friend, a hilarious bandmate, as well as a very loving dad. I`m beyond sad, did not see this coming at all. RIP Brother." UPDATE #2: Dave Mustaine has now issued a formal statement regarding Menza's passing:
"I woke up this morning to a text message from my son, with the news of Nick Menza's passing. Shocked, devastated and saddened don't begin to describe my feelings. "Originally a tech for the band, Nick soon displayed such talent and personality, it didn't take long for us to realize he belonged on stage 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 platinum album, which only served to stoke the fire. We all wanted world domination — with so much of our lives and dreams ahead of us. 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. "As a player, Nick had a very powerful jazzy flair, unpredictable and always entertaining, And as great a drummer as he was, the time spent with him as a person, a bandmate, and a friend was even more fun. "There were several times we discussed him coming back to the band, but for various reasons, it never came together. We've been in touch all along, he had come out to our shows recently, and he had remained a great friend, a true professional and a larger-than-life personality. "The Megadeth family take care of each other, and expect to hear soon about an initiative to help Nick's children. "All of us in this community are connected, take care of yourself and your loved ones. "My deepest condolences go out to Nick's family."

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