Former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo is mourning the death of his mother.
Nicelia Irene Lombardo died on December 26, 2021 at the age of 89.
Dave announced his mother's passing in a social media post on Monday (January 10). He wrote: "On Dec. 26th 2021, my amazing mom, Nicelia Irene Lombardo passed away. She was 89 years old. Her last days were met with much pain and exhaustion. She was a strong and brave woman, not just in the end, but throughout her journey. She was my first fan. Supportive from the very first note. From spoons, pots and pans, to arenas. My favorite producer. Always encouraging my musical endeavors. We will all miss her positive spirit, jokes and daily phone calls.
"We love you dearly, Mima. Rest Peacefully."
Dave, who was born in Havana, Cuba but emigrated to Southern California with his parents when he was a toddler, finally got a chance to perform in his former homeland in 2018 when SUICIDAL TENDENCIES played two shows in Cuba. The May 7, 2018 concert at Centro Cultural Club Bariay in Holguin and the May 11, 2018 gig at Salon Rosado De La Tropical in Havana marked the first time Dave had ever performed in the Caribbean nation.
Asked by Graspop Metal Meeting what it was like for him to return to Cuba for the first time in more than five decades, Dave said: "Magical. I went [there first] in January , and I took my mom. She was all stiff when we first got there, but after a week in Cuba and walking, she was, like, 'Oh, okay. Let's go. I can walk myself. Let's go here, let's go there.'"
He added: "I left when I was 15 or 16 months old — that's when I left Cuba. And we went to California. So I haven't been there since. And I returned, and I was able to see the house that I was born in and meet the people that live there now, that have been living there for 50 years. And I saw my dad's butcher shops and an apartment that my mom and dad were thinking about buying right on the water. It was beautiful — just two blocks from the Malecón, which is a famous walk that you can take in Havana."
In a 2012 interview with Noisecreep, Lombardo spoke about how his Cuban roots affected his musical upbringing. "Living in a Cuban household, my parents would go to these Latino social clubs when I was a kid," he said. "I remember being there and seeing the men playing dominoes, drinking coffee and talking about the old country. It was a really family-oriented kind of thing. But what I remember the most were these dances they would have at the clubs."
He continued: "My mom would try and get me to go out and dance to the big live bands that would perform these parties at the social club. But I would be backstage, sitting on a piano stool and staring at the musicians in the band. That's where my fascination with being a musician started. My mom would get so mad and say, 'Come on, Dave! There are some pretty girls out there that want to dance.' But I was more interested in watching the band performing."
Lombardo, who splits most of his time between crossover pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, horror-punk icons MISFITS, hardcore supergroup DEAD CROSS and MR. BUNGLE, was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the group's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other bandmembers. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001.
Shortly after his dismissal, Lombardo said that he discovered that 90 percent of SLAYER's tour income was being deducted as expenses, including fees to management, costing the band millions and leaving them with about 10 percent to split four ways. While he and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya hired auditors to figure out what had happened, Lombardo said he was never allowed to see any of the information obtained.