Blabbermouth is reporting that former Manowar drummer Scott Columbus has passed away at the age of 54. The information was first posted by former Manowar guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman on his own Facebook page, and later verified by Columbus’ girlfriend Nancy. According to the posts available at the time of this writing, Columbus died early in the evening of Monday, April 4, 2011. [Update: the band has confirmed the news, see full update below.] Cause of death is not known at this time.
Scott Columbus joined Manowar in 1983, and played with the band on many of their well-known and now classic albums such as Kings of Metal and Louder than Hell. He left the band in 2008, reportedly over disagreements with band members — though by all indications the disagreement seemed amiable and insiders say it was simply time for Columbus to move on.
According to Blabbermouth, the drummer had been working on a solo project called Instrumetal. Columbus had been keeping in contact with his former bandmates and friends in Manowar, and there were indications and rumors that some of the members of the loudest band in the world (it’s true, they broke the Guinness World Record) would be collaborating and contributing to specific tracks on his solo project.
While Manowar may never have reached the level of success enjoyed by bands such as Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, their influence on the metal movement is undeniable. Their sound was a big influence on many power metal bands and other progressive artists. Today, the world lost not only an exceptional musician who contributed some amazing work to the sound of Manowar, but a good man with a great heart.
He will be sadly missed.
RIP Scott Columbus
1957 – 2011
UPDATE: The official Manowar Facebook page has been updated with a message regarding Columbus’s passing.
With great sorrow we announce the passing of our brother Scott Columbus.
A rare talent, equally a rare individual, a father, a friend and a brother of metal.
All of the great moments we spent together are burnished in our hearts and memories forever.
We know he is in a good place and at peace.
He will never be forgotten.
Your family and brothers,
Joey, Eric, Karl, Donnie