Anthrax bassist Frank Bello recalled in an interview with Metal Voice the last time he saw the late Metallica bass player Cliff Burton and the last thing that they spoke about. Burton tragically died at the age of 24 back in 1986.
“There are no words. We were young, touring every day, you get used to the same people hanging out together every day Anthrax and Metallica. I would watch their show every night, I always loved what Cliff was doing, talking with his bass. Cliff was innovative, he always thought outside the box as a bass player.”
“There was this little saying we had, ‘Hey, maybe I will see you later…’ The last vision I have of Cliff was – his bus was going and Cliff was walking out the door and I said to him, ‘Hey, Cliff, maybe I will see you later…'”
“Then he pokes his head from out the bus and says maybe I will. And that is the last vision from him I remember, and it still haunts me. A lot of credit to Metallica for brushing themselves off and having to go forward and becoming the biggest band in the world with the spirit of Cliff.”
During the European leg of the Damage Inc. tour, the band complained that the sleeping cubicles on their tour bus were unsatisfactory and uncomfortable. To decide who received pick of the bunks, Kirk Hammett and Burton drew cards. On the evening of September 26, 1986, Burton won the game with an ace of spades, thereby getting the first choice of bunk.
Burton was sleeping shortly before 7 am on September 27 when, according to the driver, the bus skidded off the road (the E4, 12 miles (19 km) north of Ljungby), and flipped onto the grass in Kronoberg County. Burton was thrown through the window of the bus, which fell on top of him, resulting in his death.
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