News of the beloved beatsmith’s death broke late Sunday night, Aussie time, after Menza collapsed onstage at LA jazz club The Baked Potato, where he was playing alongside fellow ex-Megadeth staffer Chris Poland.
It was widely believed that the 51-year-old had suffered a heart attack, but now an autopsy has confirmed the news.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner reports that Menza died of natural causes, with his death listed as the result of “hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease”.
Meanwhile, a witness who was in the crowd when it all went down has told Blabbermouth: “It appeared to be a seizure but [Nick] stopped breathing. Two patrons took over and began CPR until EMS arrived. EMS worked on him for 25-plus minutes, including adrenaline shots, three shocks and non-stop compressions.”
Like most rock stars, Menza dabbled in drugs early on in his career but had reportedly been sober for going on 8 years at the time of his death.
Menza performed on all of Megadeth’s releases from Rust In Peace to Cryptic Writings before leaving the band in ’98 and returning for a brief spell in 2004.
Tributes have been pouring in across social media for the iconic tubthumper, including from all of his former bandmates in Megadeth.
Frontman Dave Mustaine even issued a lengthy and heartfelt statement of his own, saying he’s been left ‘devastated’ by the news of Menza’s passing.
RIP to another musical icon.
Watch: Megadeth – Tornado Of Souls Live 1992