David Ellefson Clarifies Misinformation About Late Megadeth Drummer Lee Rauch

David Ellefson: Carter Sterling, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons
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Along with paying tribute to the late Megadeth drummer Lee Rauch, David Ellefson has clarified some misinformation regarding the drummer’s involvement on the band’s Last Rites demo.

Rauch passed away last Friday, and along with Ellefson, Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine has also paid tribute to Rauch.

Per a new Instagram post, Ellefson pays tribute to Rauch and talks about the drummer’s involvement in the band.

In short, Ellefson says that Rauch never worked on any “studio recordings” with Megadeth.

Here is exactly what Ellefson had to say:

“I want to offer 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 fall of 1983. Lee joined us shortly thereafter 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 during February & April 1984.

“However, 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 summer of 1984.

“Our then-manager Jay Jones brought Gar into the fold shortly after Lee departed the group in April, 1984 as he funded the making of that demo during several late night sessions at Hitman Studios in Hollywood. We continued to perform as a three-piece in summer and fall of that year until Jay 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’ for Combat Records. The rest, as they say, is history…..

“In closing, 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, which is 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”



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