This week, former longtime Megadeth bassist and current Dieth member David Ellefson offered clarity on what he called “some misinformation” surrounding the late Lee Rauch, an early Megadeth drummer who died at 58 this month.
Specifically, Ellefson, who parted ways with Megadeth in 2021, asserted Rauch didn’t play on Last Rites, Megadeth’s 1984 demo that preceded the Dave Mustaine-led metal band’s debut LP, 1985’s Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!
Find Ellefson’s full text further down this page.
In a June 28 Instagram post, Ellefson offers “condolences on our fallen friend and former Megadeth drummer, Lee Rauch. He was a kind young man with big ambitions (and an even bigger drumkit!!), who was our drummer from late 1983 after our first drummer Dijon Carruthers departed the group in [the] fall of 1983. Lee joined us … and was in the live performing lineup of the band with me, Dave & Kerry King when we debuted the group for our very first live shows in the San Francisco Bay area.”
Ellefson Addresses Rauch ‘Misinformation’
However, Ellefson continues that there is “some misinformation about the ‘Last Rites’ demo. Lee never did any studio recordings with the band. The ‘Last Rites’ demo that is out there on the web was recorded 100% by his successor, our other fallen brother, Gar Samuelson on drums. That three-song demo was recorded as a three-piece with me, Dave & Gar in [the] summer of 1984.”
The misconception that Rauch performs on Last Rites is pervasive, as even Loudwire’s obituary for Rauch earlier this week suggested his contributions to the unofficial cassette release.
Ellefson adds, “We continued to perform as a three-piece in [the] summer and fall of that year until [manager] Jay [Jones] helped bring Chris Poland into the band a few months later, when we entered the Indigo Ranch studios in Malibu, CA in December 1984 to begin recording our debut album ‘Killing is my Business… and Business is Good.'”
Ellefson concludes. “Some friends near Lee had reached out to me in recent years to let me know that he had lived a good life as a man of Faith back in Ohio … where he hailed from before moving to LA back in the 80s. It’s nice to hear that he finished well in his life. May he now rest in peace.”
David Ellefson + Megadeth Members
Last Friday (June 23), Rauch’s death was confirmed on Facebook by his brother Chris, who noted Lee was an “awesome drummer who helped launch one of the biggest metal names in history.”
Ellefson was let go from Megadeth in 2021 amid a sex scandal with a leaked video that seemed to put Ellefson in a compromising position. James LoMenzo replaced him after Testament‘s Steve Di Giorgio recorded bass on The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!, Megadeth’s 2022 album.
David Ellefson Pays Tribute to Lee Rauch, Clarifies Megadeth Drummer ‘Misinformation’ – June 28, 2023
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