Late MEGADETH drummer Nick Menza's long-awaited memoir, "Megalife: Nick Menza - The Book", will finally be released in late 2017. The book, which was written with J. Marshall Craig, was delayed after being drastically reworked in the months following Nick's passing.
Says J. Marshall Craig: "I spent a year living with late, great, heavy metal drummer Nick Menza at his home in Studio City, California, trying to get the enormously private and proud man to open up and let me write his story. A story of the heights of rock and roll stardom, dreams come true and dreams shattered.
"We spent a lot of time talking, listening to music, playing music, and even began filming a drum-clinic video that comprises the final chapter of his book.
"On May 23 of 2016, Nick was preparing to visit me here at my Cape Cod home and publishing offices for the final round of interviews on a project that was nearly four years in the making. Tragically, Nick didn't make it. He died two days before, almost instantly from a massive heart attack, while on stage at the Baked Potato with Chris Poland and Robert Pagliari in their band OHM: "But the book is still coming late 2017.
"A normally extremely private man, Nick decided to hold back nothing in telling his story. He revealed the most exciting moments in his career, taking the reader right on stage with him before more than 100,000 screaming fans. And he humbly revealed the lowest depths of a depression that nearly cost him everything before he earned his career back in his final years.
"It's a book celebrating great times, great music, great friends. It's a book of honesty. It's a book of wit. And it's even a book, sometimes, of wisdom!"
Menza's longtime manager Robert Bolger says the book will reveal how poorly Nick was being treated by MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine and the brutal truth of why there was never a MEGADETH reunion with the band's "Rust In Peace" lineup.
Nick rightfully earned his place as heavy metal's fiercest drummer during MEGADETH's ten-year peak at the top. With "Megalife: Nick Menza - The Book", music fans are going to be thrilled to discover his candor just as fierce as his drumming.
The highlight of his career, Nick said, was playing Rock In Rio before more than 100,000 people. The lowest point was being fired by Mustaine while he was still in a hospital bed after surgery to remove was doctors feared was a cancerous growth.
Excerpt from "Megalife: Nick Menza - The Book":
Nick Menza was still groggy from the anesthesia but elated when the doctors told him the scary growth on his knee was benign and that he'd soon be back at work — as the thunderous drummer for one of the world's greatest thrash metal bands, MEGADETH.
"I was so relieved," he says, "I didn't think I had a worry in the world."
So when band leader Dave Mustaine called two days later, Nick was expecting great news about returning to the Ozzfest '98 tour.
Instead, Mustaine said, "We're letting you go."
Nick thought it was a joke. "Where? Disneyland? Stop fucking around, Dave. Now's not the time."
Mustaine wasn't joking. "I don't think you're hearing me clearly."
A decade and a half later, Nick leans back in his chair in front of the console at his Los Angeles Menzanation Studios and reflects. "That was it," he says with a shrug. "My run with one of heavy metal's top bands at the top of its career was done. It came crashing down and it was bad. Very bad."
Only a few gray hairs gave away the passage of time: Nick was fit as ever — not just from drumming but from his obsessive mountain-biking habit. "Yeah, I admit it, I sank into a pretty dark place. I survived, come out the other side with purpose and spirituality, and I want to make play more than ever now. I have fallen in love with music again.
"Fans ask me all the time if I wish I was still in MEGADETH. It took a long time to realize the answer, which is..." [End of book excerpt]
On May 21, 2016, Nick collapsed after suffering a heart attack during a concert with OHM: at The Baked Potato in Studio City, California and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said Menza died of natural causes. The cause of Menza's death was listed as hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.