Former bandmates say former drummer Scott will never be forgotten after confirming his unexpected death from unknown causes at 54

Scott Columbus

Drums of doom: Scott Columbus

Manowar have paid tribute to former drummer Scott Columbus after confirming that he died suddenly yesterday, at the age of 54.

In a statement the band say: “With great sorrow we announce the passing of our brother Scott. A rare talent, equally a rare individual, a father, friend and a brother of metal.

“All the great moments we spent together are burnished in our hearts and memories for ever. We know he is in a good place and at peace. He will never be forgotten.”

Columbus, known for playing “the drums of doom,” is said to have been discovered by the band when he was beating aluminium in a foundry. He joined in 1983 and left seven years later, but rejoined until his final departure in 2008.

He recently explained the move came after disagreeing with Manowar mainman Joey DeMaio on “a few points of interest” but said they remained on speaking terms, adding: “Why let something professional interrupt something personal? I tend to make friends for life.”

Discussing the suggestion that he’d left the band through ill health he said: “I’m in the best shape of my life. I mean, I’m 112 years old, but I’m in the best shape.

“I have a long and wonderful career with Manowar. I have no regrets – but life moves on.”

His girlfriend of nearly four years, Nancy, says: “I cannot get the words out. Please send your thoughts and prayers – I can’t believe he is gone. He was the absolute love of my life.”

Columbus was working on a 13-track album without vocals to be called Instrumetal.

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