MINISTRY Mainman On MIKE SCACCIA's Passing: 'I Just Lost A Huge Chunk Of My Heart Today'

MINISTRY mainman Al Jourgensen has released the following statement regarding the passing of the band's guitarist, Mike Scaccia:

"I just lost my lil' brother and my best friend. The 13th Planet compound is devastated, completely in shock and shattered. Mikey was not only the best guitar player in the history of music, but he was a close, close, close part of our family — and I just lost a huge chunk of my heart today. Our lives are forever changed. Life without Mikey is like orange juice without pulp — kind of bland. I have no words to express what this guy meant to me, my family, my career... everything!

"Get to know his lead parts — for they are in the pantheon of music! Unfortunately, most of you didn't get to know Mikey's soul — which is in the pantheon of humanity. He is my hero, my friend and my idol. Mikey was always beside me — my right-hand man — through thick and thin, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

"Rest in peace my brother, my friend, my heart.

"Please pray for Mike Scaccia and Jenny, his wife and their children, and his family."

Scaccia, who is also known for his work with RIGOR MORTIS and the REVOLTING COCKS, died last night (Saturday, December 22) of a sudden heart attack brought on by a heart disease (official cause of death: atherosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease), according to the Tarrant County medical examiner's office. Officials ruled it a natural death. He was 47 years old.

Scaccia was performing with RIGOR MORTIS at The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas at the 50th-birthday celebration for RIGOR MORTIS singer Bruce Corbitt when the frontman reportedly asked for strobe lights to be turned off moments before the guitarist collapsed onstage and could not be revived. He was taken to the emergency room at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, where he was pronounced dead at 12:26 a.m., according to the medical examiner.

His daughter Sarah posted a message on his Facebook page at 3 a.m. Dallas time, saying, "I love you so much dad. I love you so much."

Mike is survived by his wife Jenny Rowen Scaccia, with whom he has two toddlers, and daughters Sarah Scaccia and Taarna Scaccia Hopkins.

In 1989, Scaccia was asked by Jourgensen to join MINISTRY for their 1989-1990 "The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste" tour. Jourgensen was so impressed by Scaccia's talents that he included him into the band full time. Scaccia left RIGOR MORTIS in 1991 and went on to record and tour for MINISTRY's next album, the platinum-selling smash "Psalm 69" throughout 1992. He also recorded MINISTRY's follow-up effort, "Filth Pig", before leaving the band in 1996.

In early 2003, Scaccia reformed RIGOR MORTIS and around the same time rejoined MINISTRY on the road in support of their "Animositisomina" album. He left MINISTRY again in 2006 but rejoined Jourgensen in the studio and on the road in support of the band's latest album, "Relapse".

Pictured below (left to right): Mike Scaccia and Al Jourgensen

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