July 23, 1964 – May 21, 2016
Nick Menza was an American metal drummer who is best remembered for playing in Megadeth during a period that many consider their greatest. Born into a musical family – his father was Don Menza, longtime sax player for Buddy Rich – Menza started playing drums at the age of two. He began playing professionally at 18 and soon found work as a session player covering many genres of music. His most notable early gig was on recordings for John Fogerty. In 1989, Menza was asked to join Megadeth although he had played with the band live on occasion going back a year prior. His contributions to Megadeth were felt immediately. Menza played on the band’s next for studio albums, including the two that many consider the band’s greatest, Rust In Peace and Countdown to Extinction. On stage, he added a new force to band’s live show, most notably due to his skills on the double bass drum kit. Menza left Megadeth due to knee problems in 1998. He went on to play in bands over the years until his most recent, OHM. It was with OHM that he was playing at a club in Studio City, CA when he died unexpectedly of heart failure on May 21, 2016. He was 51.
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