Nick Menza, Former Megadeth Drummer, Dies After Reportedly Collapsing on Stage During Show at 51

Paramedics could not revive Megadeath's drummer after he collapsed during a show

Photo: Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Nick Menza, best known as the drummer of Megadeth in the 1990s, died Saturday, reportedly after collapsing on stage during a Los Angeles concert.

Menza, 51, was playing drums with his band OHM at The Baked Potato on May 21 when he suddenly collapsed during the third song of the set, CNN reports. Paramedics were unable to revive him.

The cause of death is unknown at this time, and Menza’s manager did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. However, his manger did tell the BBC that Menza collapsed onstage and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The L.A. venue was among the first to address the situation, writing, “RIP Nick Menza,” on their Facebook page.

Menza’s band OHM also confirmed the death on social media.

Menza played with metal band Megadeth for nine years in the early 1990s, drumming on the group’s albums Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia.

Megadeth’s frontman Dave Mustaine tweeted Sunday morning, “TELL ME THIS ISN’T TRUE!” in regards to the news. He later released a statement:

“I woke up this morning to a text message from my son, with the news of Nick Menza’s passing. Shocked, devastated, and saddened don’t begin to describe my feelings.

“Originally a tech for the band, Nick soon displayed such talent and personality, it didn t take long for us to realize he belonged on stage with us, behind the kit. We asked Nick to join Megadeth as our drummer in 1989. At the time, the band already had its first platinum album, which only served to stoke the fire. We all wanted world domination – with so much of our lives and dreams ahead of us. As we navigated through the pitfalls of life and the music business, our first album with Nick, Rust in Peace, and subsequent albums Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia, kept up the momentum. We parted ways after Cryptic Writings. We, like all brothers, would disagree at times, but our bond was strong throughout.

“As a player, Nick had a very powerful jazzy flair, unpredictable and always entertaining, And as great a drummer as he was, the time spent with him as a person, a bandmate, and a friend was even more fun. There were several times we discussed him coming back to the band, but for various reasons it never came together. We’ve been in touch all along, he had come out to our shows recently, and he had remained a great friend, a true professional and a larger than life personality.

“The Megadeth family take care of each other, and expect to hear soon about an initiative to help Nick’s children. All of us in this community are connected, take care of yourself and your loved ones.

“My deepest condolences go out to Nick’s family.”

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