Megadeth guitarist Dave Mustaine announced on May 22 he is planning a benefit show with former members of his band in memory of ex-Megadeth drummer Nick Menza.
Menza died suddenly on Saturday, May 21, while performing with his group OHM. The cause appears to be a massive heart attack. He was 51.
Mustaine said the show will feature members from all eras of Megadeth, with funds going to benefit the drummer’s family.
“We’re gonna do a benefit in California,” Mustaine told Tigman of radio station Q103 in Albany, New York. “We’re working out the details.
“We’re hoping to leave an open stage for all of the alumni of Megadeth to come and play with us so we can help leave something behind for Nick’s children, which have been left in a bad way.”
You can watch the entire interview in the video at bottom.
Menza joined Megadeth in 1989 and performed on several of their classic albums, including 1990’s Rust in Peace and 1992’s Countdown to Extinction. He left in 1998 due to a benign tumor affecting one of his knees while the band was on tour for 1997’s Cryptic Writings. He was drumming again when Megadeth recorded Risk in 1999 but was not asked back.
That has led to rumors that Mustaine and Menza were on bad terms with one another. Mustaine told Q103 there were no bad feelings between them.
“To anyone that thinks that I don’t love Nick,” Mustaine said, raising a middle finger.
Menza was performing with OHM at the Baked Potato, a small jazz club in Studio City, California, on the night of May 21 when he collapsed three songs into their set. His management said, in a statement, “Earliest reports indicate he suffered a massive heart attack and was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital.”
“TELL ME THIS ISN’T TRUE!” Mustaine tweeted on Sunday. “I woke at 4 AM to hear Nick Menza passed away on 5/21 playing his drums w/Ohm at the Baked Potato.” He added in a follow-up tweet, “I am gutted.”
Guitarist Marty Friedman, who performed with Menza both in Megadeth and as a solo artist, 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.”