STUDIO CITY—Former drummer of the heavy metal band Megadeth, Nick Menza, died of an alleged massive heart attack at the age of 51 on Saturday, May 21, according to a press release on J Marshall Craig’s Facebook page.
Menza was with his current band Ohm at The Baked Potato in Studio City, according to KTLA. The band was into the third song on their playlist when Menza suddenly collapsed. When paramedics arrived they were unable to revive Menza and he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Past and present band mates and friends posted on both Facebook and Twitter about Menza’s passing.
Guitarist and lead singer of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, posted on Twitter, “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.”
Chris Poland, former Megadeth guitarist, said, ”There are no words… just to describe what a great guy he was, let alone his creative ability and amazing talent. Not enough words to describe. Just devastated right now.”
Robby Pagliari of Ohm released a statement saying, “Stunned. Just stunned. Such a kind generous human being and great dad. Probably the happiest he’s been in a long time. He got a chance to see his kids for a couple weeks. In a year we’ve lost so many talented people – we just lost another one… Great guy, great player, most importantly great guy. We’re devastated with what happened.”
Craig, who wrote Menza’s biography with him and who Menza’s family has asked to be the public representative during this time, spoke to Canyon News on May 23 about Menza. Craig said an autopsy has been done, but no official cause of death has been released.
He said it is a sort of cruel irony because Menza was supposed to be visiting him in his Cape Cod home at the time Canyon News was speaking with him. Menza was in great health and shape, and had no health problems, which is why his death was such a surprise to everyone.
Craig wanted to stress that even though some fans and news stories disagree, there was no bad blood between Menza and Mustaine or anyone from Megadeth. He also shared that when Menza passed he was the happiest he had been in his life, and died doing what he loved.
There will be unreleased music of Menza’s released to fans and the biography that Craig and Menza wrote is still scheduled to come out on July 23, what would have been Menza’s 52nd birthday. Craig said the biography will show what a nice and lovely human being Menza was and that he did not have a bad word for anyone.
Craig will be posting updates and details on a public ceremony for Menza on his Facebook page.