Nick Menza, who played drums in the thrash metal band Megadeth throughout the '90s and for a brief spell in 2004, died Saturday (May 21) evening in Los Angeles after collapsing onstage at a performance with his band OHM. He was 51 years old.
The drummer's management confirmed on Saturday that Menza had suffered "a massive heart attack" during OHM's set and "was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital." As per The Guardian, we learn that Menza suddenly collapsed during the third song of the performance, according to eyewitness accounts.
Already, Menza's former bandmates are coming to terms with his premature death. Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman wrote on Facebook Sunday morning:
"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.”
Frontman Dave Mustaine echoed those sentiments on Twitter, expressing disbelief at the sudden loss.
Menza, whose biography called Menzalife was expected out later this month in comic book form, was survived by his wife and two sons. The drummer's sudden death follows the premature demise of founding Beastie Boys member John Berry III, who passed away earlier this week after years of grappling with frontal lobe dementia.