One of the most surprising, heartbreaking stories that happened over the holiday break was the sudden death of Rigor Mortis (and Ministry) guitarist Mike Scaccia, who died just days before Christmas following a show at the Rail Club.
The 47-year-old Arlington resident, who left behind his family, countless fans and grieving collaborators, will be honored by his Rigor Mortis bandmate Bruce Corbitt, as he embarks on a West Coast tour with his band Warbeast this weekend. Along with supergroup Down, Warbeast is dedicating the month-long jaunt to the late guitarist.
"Mike Scaccia left this Earth doing what he loved to do," Corbitt said in a recent statement. "Tragically, the music world has lost an extremely talented, gifted and unique guitar virtuoso. His music and his legend will live on forever. But a loving husband, father, son and brother et cetera can never be replaced. Mike would be overwhelmed with this outpouring of emotion that has risen from his passing, but he would mainly be proud of the enormous support that everyone has shown towards his family during this devastating time in their lives. We can and we will make sure that Mikes wife and his kids are taken care of. So, I would like to ask anyone that can make a donation ... big or small ... do it now. Please understand that this is what would mean the most to Mike."
Thus far, the Mike Scaccia Family Fundraiser has netted more than $10,000 for the musician's family, with more donations pouring in daily. (To contribute, visit Warbeast's website.) Scaccia's daughter, Sarah, is also working on a book honoring her father, and is seeking "personal stories about her dad" to compile for the tome. If you have a story to share with her, drop her a line.
In the wake of the tragic loss, the music must go on. To that end, Down's Philip Anselmo has joined forces with Warbeast to create a handful of new tribute songs for Scaccia. According to Warbeast's publicist, two songs are recorded and waiting in the vault to be used. "One of them is the song about Bruce's brother Jeff, of which Bruce has mentioned many times publicly," says publicist Maria Ferrero in an email. "The other will be a song written about Mike Scaccia. The two songs will be released together with a picture of Mike on one side and a picture of Jeff Corbitt on the other."
Warbeast will perform Saturday at the Rail Club to celebrate the release of War of the Gargantuas, its split album with Down. From there, Warbeast will journey south and west, playing Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle and Denver, before concluding this short run in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Feb. 1.