Ex-Megadeth Bassist David Ellefson: “When Nick Menza Died Onstage, I Thought, ‘Man, He Got Away With It'”
It’s hard to believe after so many high profile musician deaths that it has been nearly six years since Megadeth drummer Nick Menza died. In fact, it’s been long enough that a documentary about his life called This Was My Life: The Story of Nick Menza is being co-produced by ousted bassist David Effelson. Now, in an interview with The Claw’s Corner, Effelson took a look back on Menza’s death, and gave some intense details.
Here’s what Ellefson had to say:
“Of course it’s sad when someone leaves the planet ’cause we miss ’em. And I hear this footage with Nick, I see this footage, I hear interviews with him and stuff, and it’s like he was sitting right here. So I feel that same thing.
“But how Nick died is…If you knew Nick and you lived on a tour bus with him, like we did, he would always say stuff like that: ‘Oh, I’m gonna blow up on stage. I’m gonna blow your minds.’ He’d say crazy stuff like ‘Jesus was a hologram.’ He would just say shit to just get a rise out of people and piss people off — just to see how far he could push it. So when he died on stage, I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of, like, ‘Man, he freaking got away with it. He did it. He really did it.’ And it’s interesting, ’cause when he passed, he passed right away. They tried to revive him, and he was gone — I mean, he was probably gone before he hit the floor. And God bless him. That was it.
“Chris Poland told me about it, and I won’t tell too much, ’cause a lot of the stuff’s in the movie, but he told me the story about how they were kicking ass and having a great night and ready to start the next song, and then Nick was not there. It’s a great story, and I don’t wanna say really any more than that, because the story is great. The movie is gonna be really, really, really cool, and I’m really honored to be a part of it and to help tell the story of Nick’s life and help out the family with grieving. They’re kind of going through that whole process and get to the other side of it.”
God, it still sucks to even remember but at the very least, Menza’s death was probably instant. Hopefully no pain, hopefully no suffering. He was far too young at age 51, but if I were to drop this second, I know that’s at least what I would want.
Menza was Megadeth’s drummer from 1989 through 1998, with his work featured on on Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings. He was considered a core part of the classic Megadeth lineup and passed away onstage while performing in Los Angeles in 2016. The cause of death was later revealed to be hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
You can listen to the whole interview below.