Nick Menza Dies: Rockers React
According to a joint statement we received from his manager, Robert Bolger, and author J. Marshall Craig, with whom Menza was collaborating on his memoir, Menza collapsed three songs into his set with Ohm last night (May 21) at the Baked Potato in Studio City, Calif., and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. "Earliest reports indicate he suffered a massive heart attack and was pronounced dead [upon] arrival at hospital," the statement reads. "No other details are being released at this time."
Menza, who was 51, was in Megadeth from 1989-98, during the height of their commercial appeal. He performed on four of their albums -- 1990's Rust in Peace, 1992's Countdown to Extinction, 1994's Youthanasia and 1997's Cryptic Warnings -- before leaving to receive treatment for a tumor on his knee. An attempt to reunite that lineup took place in 2004, but ended shortly thereafter.
His three former Megadeth bandmates -- Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson and Marty Friedman -- all expressed their grief, as did guitarist Chris Poland, who was in the band for much of the '80s and is the frontman for Ohm. There are also tributes from such names as Steve Lukather of Toto, Richie Kotzen (Poison, the Winery Dogs), veteran drummer Carmine Appice and former Headbanger's Ball host Riki Rachtman.
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