Former MEGADETH drummer Lee Rauch passed away on Friday, June 23 at the age of 58. As of this point no cause of death has been revealed
Lee‘s passing was announced by his brother Chris Rauch in a social media post on Friday, where he wrote: “Today is a very sad day, we lost my brother William Lee Rauch.
“Lee was a very strong man of faith so I know he is with God now. He was an Awesome drummer, who helped launch one of the biggest metal names in history by being the first drummer for MEGADETH, playing along side Dave Mustaine, Kerry King and David Ellefson. His heart was set on making it big and came very close numerous times.
“Lee was a very loving and giving individual who was extremely hard working, he continued to play drums later in his life for the church which made him happy. He was a loving son and a very honorable man. Most of all, he was my brother and though I didn’t always keep in touch the way I should have, I loved him very much and he will be greatly missed to my core.
“I love you brother, good journey. Hope you enjoy that setup they’ve got up there for you bro, bet its not as big as your blue set was though, lol.
“There will be a memorial service held for Lee, when we have the date and time I will relay it here. Please keep our family in your prayers.”
Lee Rauch made his mark on MEGADETH‘s debut demo, “Last Rites,” back in 1984. The tape contained three blistering tracks, and Rauch joined forces with the iconic lineup of Mustaine, Ellefson, and himself.
Rauch took to the stage alongside the likes of Mustaine, Ellefson, and Kerry King from SLAYER when the latter guitarist was briefly in MEGADETH.
Alas, tumultuous times lay ahead. Internal conflicts arose, and in the same year, Rauch bid farewell to MEGADETH, paving the way for the arrival of the talented Gar Samuelson.
Following his departure from MEGADETH, Rauch found himself behind the drum kit for DARK ANGEL. However, despite these performances, he never had the opportunity to record any tracks with the group.
Rauch later became a member of WARGOD, a band spearheaded by guitarist Michelle Meldrum.
Lee Rauch may not have left a permanent recorded legacy with some of these groups, but his contributions and electrifying stage presence certainly left an impression on the metal scene.