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 Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory 
 
Gar Samuelson 
Gar Samuelson
July 14, 1999
Age 41
 
Undiagnosed Liver Complications 
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OBITUARY 
        
       
 musicnewswire.com
        
  
                    Gar Samuelson, original Megadeth drummer, died at his home in Orange City, 
                    Florida on Wednesday, July 14, 1999. Cause of death was undiagnosed 
                    complications to the liver.  

                    Samuelson was a member of Megadeth during their beginning days and went on  
                    to record the gold LP, "Killing is My Business, and Business is Good," for  
                    Relativity Records and the multi-platinum, "Peace Sells, But Whoís Buying" for  
                    Capitol Records. He performed with the band on tours in the United States, Asia  
                    and Europe.  

                    Samuelson was born in Dunkirk, New York in 1958. He played in various bands in 
                    the upper New York State area prior to moving to California in the late 70ís where 
                    along with friend Chris Poland, formed and performed with The New Yorkers, a  
                    jazz band that had great success in those live music circles. He was a member of 
                    Megadeth from 1983 through 1987. For the past several years, Samuelson  
                    resided in Orange City, Florida where he built, owned and operated a custom  
                    recording studio.  

                    Guitarist Chris Poland was both a lifelong friend as well as a bandmate of 
                    Samuelson during the aforementioned New Yorker and Megadeth years. "He   
                    was a true friend. Everything I know about time, rhythm and feel I learned from  
                    Gar, so I'll always hear his voice in my music."  

                    A memorial service will take place Saturday, July 31, 1999 at 9:30 AM, Lankford 
                    Chapel, 190 South Holly Avenue, Orange City, FL. 32763. 904.775.2244. 
                    Flowers are encouraged. Purple was his favorite colour. Local florist is Orange 
                    City Florist, 904.775.3350.  

                    Gar is survived by his companion Gayle Pullara, his parents Mary and Charles 
                    Samuelson, two sisters Maryann Samuelson and Amelia Duke and two brothers, 
                    Stew and Rolph.  
 


As the original drummer for MEGADEATH, 
      Gar Samuelson not only taught the speedmetal
              world how to swing, he also convinced leader Dave
     Mustaine that the future of metal lay in political
        commentary, not satanic cliches. Gar was right.
               So after helping create some of the decade's most 
               dramatic and important heavy rock, Gar Samuelson
          [was] picking up where he left off with a five-piece
 fusion-metal group called FATAL OPERA.
              There goal is nothing less than development of the
                next evolutionary step in music.  FATAL OPERA is
                  heavy and unpredictable, with an ear for memoral 
hooks and challenging arangements. 
~planetdeland.com
 
AMG NEWS
 
     
Gar Samuelson, early drummer for Megadeth, died of undiagnosed liver complications on July 14  [at his Florida home.] 
 
Born in Dunkirk, N.Y., Samuelson relocated to California in the late '70s and formed a band with guitarist Chris Poland. He and Poland joined Dave Mustaine's Megadeth in 1983, just before the band signed its first contract. After playing on the band's first two albums, Samuelson and Poland were fired at the end of a 1986 tour. 
 
At the time of his death, the 41-year-old Samuelson lived in Orange City, Fla., where he owned a recording studio. 
    
  Original Megadeth Drummer Samuelson Dead At 41 Gar Samuelson

                            Gar Samuelson, the man who sat behind the drumkit for Megadeth 
                            during the band's rise from obscurity to multi-platinum success, died 
                            at his Florida home last week at the age of 41. 

                            Spokespeople for the late drummer say that Samuelson died of 
                            undiagnosed complications to the liver in Orange City, Florida on July 
                            14. 

                            Samuelson hooked up with Megadeth early in the band's career and 
                            went on to play on the band's breakthrough recordings "Killing Is My 
                            Business, And Business Is Good" (which went gold) and "Peace 
                            Sells, But Who's Buying" (which went multi-platinum). 

                            Samuelson left the band in 1987 and was eventually replaced by 
                            Nick Menza, who himself left the group last year. 

                            Samuelson spent the past few years running his own recording studio 
                            in Orange City. Services will be held for Samuelson in Orange City 
                            on July 31.

 
 
 
       
 

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All-Music Guide
 
 After he left Metallica in 1983, guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine formed the thrash metal quartet  Megadeth. Though Megadeth followed the basic blueprint of Metallica's relentless attack, Mustaine's  group distinguished themselves from his earlier band by lessening the progressive-rock influences,  adding an emphasis on instrumental skills, speeding the tempo up slightly and making the instrumental  attack harsher. By streamlining the classic trash-metal approach and making the music more  threatening, as well as making the lyrics more nihlistic, Megadeth became one of the leading bands of  the genre during the mid-'80s and late '80s. Each album they released went at least gold and the  continually sold out arenas across America, in addition to developing a strong following overseas. By  the early '90s, they had toned their music down slightly, yet that simply increased their following --  both 1992's Countdown to Extinction and 1994's Youthanasia debuted in the US Top Ten.   Throughout Megadeth's many lineup changes, the two core members have been bassist Dave  Ellefson and guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine (b. September 13, 1961), who is the band's official  leader. Mustaine grew up in the suburbs of Southern California, where he was raised by his mother  in a broken home; frequently, his mother left him to be raised by aunts and uncles, who never  encouraged his musical inclinations and often belittled him for his fondness for heavy metal. In 1981,  he formed Metallica with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Mustaine spent two years with Metallica,  developing a strong cult following in California's underground metal scene, before he was kicked out  of the group, allegedly over his substance abuse. Immediately following his firing, he formed  Megadeth with Ellefson. The pair recruited guitarist Chris Poland and drummer Gars Samuelson to round out the lineup. 

For the next few years, Megadeth toured and gained a following, eventually signing with the  independent label Combat in 1985. Later that year, the group released their debut, Killing Is My  Business...And Business Is Good!, which received strong reviews, not only in metal-oriented  publications, but also in mainstream music magazines. The album sold very well for an independent release, which attracted the attention of major record labels. By the end of the year, the group had  signed with Capitol. Megadeth's first major-label album, Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? was  released in the fall of 1986. Like its predecessor, Peace Sells was greeted to strong reviews and  sales; it eventually went platinum. 

 Although the band's fortunes were on the upswing, Mustaine was beginning to sink deeper into drug  abuse, as he began using heroin. Soon, his addictions began to effect his work. Many stories  concerning his erratic behavior were circulating within the metal community, and they seemed to be  proven correct when he fired both Poland and Samuelson before the recording of the band's third  album; they were replaced by Jeff Young and Chuck Behler, respectively...   -- Stephen  Thomas Erlewine, All-Music Guide

 
 
  
 
 

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