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Nick Menza

Here are some facts about drummer Nick Menza who is best known from the classic lineup of "Megadeth":

(Photo: Mick Hutson)

1. He was born in Munich, Germany on July 23, 1964. His full name is Nicholas Menza.

2. His father, jazz musician Don Menza, was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army.

3. He started drumming at age two, when during the intermission someone sat him down on Jack DeJohnette's drums and he proceeded to play.

4. Menza's influences included renowned drummers like Buddy Rich, Steve Gadd, Nick Ceroli, Jeff Porcaro, and Louie Bellson.

5. At 18, he joined the band "Rhoads", featuring singer Kelle Rhoads, brother of the late Randy Rhoads. They released the album "Into the Future" in 1986.

6. Later Menza played in Los Angeles metal bands, including: "The Green" (with "Rhoads" bandmates John Goodwin and Darwin Ballard), "Von Skeletor" where Menza also sang lead vocals on the band's demo "Injection of Death" released in 1988, and later "Cold Fire" (With "Warrior" guitarist Joe Floyd).

7. during the late 80's Menza became a sought-after session player including styles ranging from R&B to gospel, funk, and heavy metal. He even recorded drums for John Fogerty.

8. During this time Menza caught the attention of then "Megadeth" drummer Chuck Behler and became his drum technician.


9. In 1989, Dave Mustaine asked Menza to join "Megadeth", impressed by his previous drumming experience filling in for Chuck Behler when he couldn't play.

10. Menza made his live debut with "Megadeth" on May 12, 1988, in Bradford, England.

11. His first album with "Megadeth" was the masterpiece "Rust In Peace", released in 1990.

12. Menza remained as the band drummer until 1998, as part of the classic lineup, including Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, and Dave Ellefson.

13. During this time Menza released classic albums with the band, such as "Countdown to Extinction", "Youthanasia", "Hidden Treasures" and "Cryptic Writings".

14. Menza became known for his unique Greg Voelker Rack System drum setup, featuring dual bass drums and mounted tom-toms.

15. During his "Megadeth" years, Menza also played drums on Marty Friedman's solo albums: "Scenes" (1992), "Introduction" (1994), and "True Obsessions" (1996).

16. In 1998, he faced knee problems, had a tumor removed, and was replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso in "Megadeth".

17. Menza has said in several interviews that, while in the hospital recovering from knee surgery, he received a phone call from Mustaine that simply said "Your services are not needed anymore".

18. After he departed from "Megadeth", he began work on the album "Life After Deth" under his own band "Menza".

17. Following the reissue of the entire "Megadeth" catalog, Menza was invited to reunite with the band in 2004. But Days after a reunion he was fired after rehearsals and replaced by Shawn Drover.

18. In April 2006, Menza joined the Los Angeles-based metal band "Orphaned to Hatred".

19. That same year he recorded the album "Reduced to Ashes" with the Greek metal band "Memorain".

20. In 2007 Menza nearly suffered the loss of an arm, in an accident with a power saw. He required reconstructive surgery, metal plates, and a lengthy rehabilitation.

21. After his recovery, Menza auctioned the blood-stained saw blade and an original copy of an X-ray from the incident.

21. In 2011, Menza released a five-song EP with his band "Deltanaut", including the song "Sacrifice".

22. In 2015, Menza contributed drum to the song "Are We Alone?" on the album "Warless Society (The Global Invasion)" by "Ci2i".

23. That same year he began working, as producer and drummer, with the Los Angeles band "Sweet Eve" on their album "The Immortal Machine".

24. On May 21, 2016, while performing with "OHM" (Chris Poland's band), Menza collapsed onstage and was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.

25. An autopsy revealed the cause of death as congestive heart failure.

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