Ministry's Scaccia was told he had 5 years to live

Late Ministry guitarist Mike Scaccia’s doctors told him before his death that he’d be lucky to live another five years.

His friend and Rigor Mortis bandmate Bruce Corbitt recalls the night Scaccia collapsed onstage in 2012 while playing a show celebrating vocalist Corbitt’s birthday. He later died in hospital.

And Corbitt says that, looking back on discussions he had with Scaccia – as well as some out-of-character behaviour in the hours before his death – he should have known something was wrong.

Corbitt tells Robb’s Metalworks: “There was this one haunting thing he said to me one time. He said doctors had told him he was probably not gonna live another five years. I think back to the last few days and the last practice we had, a couple of nights before. We were worn out and tired. He said, ‘I will be glad when this show is over and I can get back and hang with my family.’

“I remember I was ready to do some shots before we started the show. He kept putting it off, and that’s not the Mike Scaccia I knew. I see now that those last few days, Mike wasn’t feeling very good. He probably didn’t want to play that show that night but he was gonna make sure that he came through for my birthday.

“I’ve got footage of that night and it’s creepy to watch, but now I watch it in amazement because before he passed away he was up there playing just about better than I’d ever seen him in my life. He went out doing what he loved to do.”

Months before Scaccia’s passing, Rigor Mortis had completed work on their first album in 23 years. Slaves To The Grave was later released on their own label.

Corbitt adds: “The year before Mike passed away we did a demo with two of the songs. The rest of the material he wrote in a little spell there in late 2011. Then we went into the studio in February 2012, so we had finished this album. He ended up passing away in December 2012.

“All his guitar parts were done and we were planning on shopping it to labels. We had big plans and we were excited. The sad thing is as soon as we finished recording it, Mike had to leave to go and rehearse with Ministry for the summer tour. So we had to put the mixing off for a while.

“When Mike came back from tour they just started mixing it. Then he passed away, but we know from what he had started what he wanted to do with this album.”

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.