R.I.P. Mike Scaccia of Rigor Mortis and Ministry

Categories: Music News

Tom Murphy
Ministry at the Ogden Theatre this past summer.

Some sad news coming out of Texas this morning. We've just got word that Mike Scaccia of Rigor Mortis and Ministry has died at the age of 47. Last night in Fort Worth Texas, Scaccia reportedly collapsed on stage during a performance with his band Rigor Mortis and was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital where he passed away.

See also:
- Ministry guitarist Mike Scaccia on Rigor Mortis and his friendship with Al Jourgensen
- Review: Ministry at Ogden Theatre, 6/17/12

Prior to Ministry's date at the Ogden Theatre this past summer, Tom Murphy had a chance to speak with Scaccia, who joined the act in the mid '80s at the behest of Al Jourgensen in time for a tour in support of 1989's The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste tour and Scaccia subsequently added his fretwork to the band's breakthrough 1992 album Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. Murphy and Scaccia talked about how he came to be in Ministry, both of those albums, his work with Rigor Mortis and how he considered Les Paul to be a hero. Read the full interview, excerpted below:

What kinds of guitars do you usually like to play?

I'm so glad you asked me that. The last interview I just did, the guy goes, "What do you not get asked enough about?" I said, "People never ask me about my guitars." I work for Gibson guitars. I am a clinician for Gibson, so they pay me to fly around the world and do clinics for them. I prefer Gibson guitars. I learned on those, and I got my first deal with them. So I'm kind of indebted to this company.

I love Les Pauls. My number one guitar is a 1957 Goldtop Standard. And it is my baby. I just had a Flying V made for me that is pretty sweet too. But I love Les Pauls, man. Les Paul, alone, is my idol. I just have this thing about Les Pauls. Like I say in my clinic, if it's got strings on it, I'm probably going to like it. But I'm prone to Gibson guitars, especially their acoustics.

I like the balance. I love the weight. I love fat necks, so I like the '50s ones. My idols played them. To me, it's the perfect stand-up guitar too, for some reason. I love SGs and Explorers, as well -- I learned on Explorers. That's probably what I'll be using on Ministry tours. But Les Pauls are more my Rigor Mortis thing. I like to mix it up. I collect them. And I don't collect them in the sense that I used to. You used to walk into my house and you would see seventy-five guitars. Now, I only have what I'm going to play. Which is quite a few.

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I am SHOCKED I am the sole contributor to a publication dominated by cultural arts / entertainment , AND following the passing of a true innovator of sound that MILLIONS have either attempted to emulate or name as a primary influence, NO ONE is taking a moment to reflect and thank a man who REFUSED to be yet another member of the 'Flannel/Doc Martin' or Beastie Boy spin off bands who DOMINATED for FAR too long ! If it were Eddie Vedder or Bono, you pussies would be holding candle light vigils, singing 'Alive' !


This WILL be an ALL SCACCIA, 'YouTube' weekend in my household ! The sound to the game will be muted and not missed . Show after show,  which will most likely be left on continuous play til Monday .

R.I.P. Mike ! My condolences to your families. Both on and off the stage ........



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