This year has been difficult with amount of incredibly talented musicians that have passed away. Former Megadeth drummer Nick Menza passed away Saturday night (May 21) while performing with the band OHM: at The Baked Potato in Studio City, California. He was 51 years old.
Nick collapsed during the third song of OHM:’s set. The earliest reports indicated he suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. No other details have been released at this time.
Past and present members of Megadeth went to social media to pay their respects to their former band mate.
TELL ME THIS ISN'T TRUE! I woke at 4 AM to hear Nick Menza passed away on 5/21 playing his drums w/Ohm at the Baked Potato. #nickmenzarip
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) May 22, 2016
Condolences to the Nick Menza family and friends. We have lost a gentle giant… A true artist and friend to us all. #ripnickmenza
— David Ellefson (@ellefsondavid) May 22, 2016
We all know the great and unique drummer that Nick Menza was, but he was also a trustworthy friend, a hilarious… https://t.co/Fyhj5aQ72o
— Marty Friedman (@marty_friedman) May 22, 2016
Menza joined Megadeth in for the 1989 recording of Rust In Peace and remained with the band for what became known as the band’s “classic period” and its most profitable era, drumming on the albums Countdown to Extinction, Youtanasia, Nativity in Black, Hidden Treasures and Cryptic Writings. He left the band in 1998 with knee problems and a benign tumor which forced him to leave the band in support of their Cryptic Writings; he was replaced by former Suicidal Tendencies drummer, Jimmy DeGrasso. Nick was approached by Dave Mustaine and David Ellefson to replace drummer Shawn Drover at the end of 2014, and that he had started working on new tracks with the band, but the plan collapsed after he was offered a contract he described as “very unfair.”
Last year, he revealed the attempted reunion of the “Rust In Peace” line up (Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Marty Friedman, and Menza) failed to come together because Mustaine “didn’t want to show me any love at all.”
Following his departure from Megadeth, Nick performed with various groups like Memorain, Orphaned to Hatred and his own project Deltanaut. In 2002, he released a solo album titled, Life After Death.