RIGOR MORTIS and WARBEAST frontman Bruce Corbitt spoke to Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner about the passing of MINISTRY and RIGOR MORTIS guitarist Mike Scaccia, who died on December 22 while performing with RIGOR MORTIS at The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas at Corbitt's 50th-birthday celebration.
"If I picked the one most important person of my life, not counting my own family and brother, it would be Mike Scaccia," Corbitt said. "I've said it from the beginning: I would've never been in a band or started singing in a band if I didn't become friends with Mike. And now here I am 30 years later, I'm still doing tours and making albums. I owe everything to him. Because when I met him, I was just a fan, into music. I had dreams like everybody. Veteran air guitarist, but never bothered to learn to play an instrument and kind of too shy to try to sing. But we became close friends, and I realized this was a guy that was put on this earth to play his guitar. Somebody with greatness, who had a gift. I wanted to be in a band with him so bad because he would make us all look good. I didn't even know how to sing, but somehow, because I had long hair (and) I could party all night. [laughs] It's a true story. That's kind of how I got the job. I'm talking about our first band called SPECTRUM. It didn't last too long, and Mike went his own way. We stayed in touch here and there, but a few years later, when he started RIGOR MORTIS with Casey Orr and Harden Harrison, again I wanted to be in a band with Mike so bad, I did everything I could. He was such a humble guy. He was never going to brag about himself, but I always said, "Man, I'm Mike Scaccia's No. 1 fan," and I sure didn't have any trouble going out and telling everyone what a great guitarist he is. I'm going to miss him every day for the rest of my life."
He added: "When you've got someone like that with such a talent to not have an ego at the same time, that's a rare combination. You just don't find that very often. That's the thing, you know. Such a great guy, great friend. He had such a sense of humor. He made our lives more fun when we were around him. He was such a family-oriented guy with his parents and his sisters and his wife and kids. Can't say anything bad about Mike Scaccia, man, you know? He was always there for everyone, and I'm blessed to have known him."
Regarding the circumstances behind Mike's passing, Bruce said: "Now, looking back, at first, you're like, 'Wow, what if I would have not asked him to play on my birthday? Would this have happened? Would he still be here?' It's a 32-year-old friendship — agreeing to give up some time for Christmas with his family to come practice with us and do a show. And then we're on stage together; it was going to be one of the best shows I remember. There's just so many, but at the time, everyone was in great spirits, celebrating. And the new material, that was what's so cool. We got to play some of these new songs with Mike. And that's the thing. You never understand why this happened, but I think I said that last night, if Mike himself could have wrote the perfect ending, this would be it. He was still gripping that guitar, and we took it out of his hands when we were trying to help him. It's a devastating thing to deal with and see, but over time, I'm going to be thankful that it happened the way it happened — as bad as that sounds. I don't know. I'm glad I was by his side 'till the very last minute."
Read the entire interview from San Antonio Metal Music Examiner.
The official memorial for Mike Scaccia will be held today (Sunday, December 30) at 3:00 p.m. at Aristide Event Center in Mansfield, Texas. The event is open to the public.
Aristide Event Center
570 North Walnut Creek Drive
Mansfield, TX 76063