Nick Menza, former Megadeth drummer, dies after collapsing on stage

Nick Menza reported to have died after suffering a heart attack during session with his band at Los Angeles club

22 May 2016, 2:42pm
Nick Menza, the former drummer with US metal band Megadeth, is reported to have died after collapsing on stage during a gig in California.

Menza, who was 51, is said to have suffered a heart attack during one of his regular sessions with his band OHM at a small Los Angeles jazz club, the Baked Potato.

The club posted “RIP Nick Menza” on its Facebook page in the early hours of Sunday. Dave Mustaine, co-founder of Megadeth, said on Twitter that he awoke at 4am to the news. “Tell me this isn’t true,” he wrote.

Marty Friendman, the former Megadeth guitarist, wrote on Facebook: “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.”

Mike Simpson, a fan who said he was at the gig, reported that Menza collapsed before the third song in the band’s set. “ I was watching his band OHM at the Baked Potato tonight and he collapsed on stage. Paramedics were saying it looked like a heart attack,” he wrote.

One fan, Andrew White, wrote: “A huge part of my teenage years has passed away with this news”.

Menza, son of a jazz musician, played with Megadeth from 1989 to 1998 and in 2004. He played with the band on several of its most successful albums in the early 1990s, including Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia. He left the band when he had to have knee surgery during a tour for the 1997 album Cryptic Writings.

He had been playing regular sessions at the Baked Potato club with the band OHM, founded in 2002 by another Megadeth veteran, guitarist Chris Poland.