Ex-Megadeth drummer Nick Menza collapses on stage, dies

Members of the band Megadeth pose in New York Aug. 14, 1997. The heavy metal band's bassist, David Ellefson, has written a how-to book about the music business: "Making Music Your Business: A Guide for Young Musicians." From left, are Nick Menza, Marty Friedman, Ellefson and David Mustaine. (AP Photo/Jim Cooper)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A family spokesman says Nick Menza, former drummer for influential metal band Megadeth, died after collapsing on stage during a performance of his progressive jazz trio in Southern California.

J. Marshall Craig says Menza’s latest band OHM was three songs into a set at a Los Angeles-area club Saturday night when the drummer collapsed. Friends and audience members rendered aid while paramedics were called.

Craig says the 51-year-old died at the club of a suspected heart attack.

Menza was Megadeth’s longest-serving drummer, performing on five records over nine years, including 1990’s thrash metal landmark, “Rust In Peace.”

After leaving Megadeth in 1998, Menza pursued an interest in jazz and became an accomplished woodworker.

He is survived by his parents and two sons.

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