Metallica bassist from 1986 to 2001, Jason Newsted joined the band after the tragic death of bassist Cliff Burton. In an interview with Metal Hammer, Newsted recalled the support he had from Cliff’s mother after he joined the Thrash Metal group.
Jason Newsted recalls Cliff Burton’s mother support after joining Metallica:
“That evening, it was the third day that I played with the boys. I think I stayed overnight in San Francisco for the first time. That third night, they had ‘the elders’ come in for their blessing. So Torben Ulrich, the Burtons, a couple of the crew guys, people that had been there from the get-go… We got through about six tunes: Master…, Fade To Black, …Bell Tolls, the masterpieces!”
“So I am just composing myself for a second, putting my bass down, turning off Cliff’s amp. I’m playing fucking Cliff’s amp dude! Jan [Burton, Cliff’s mother] comes walking in the room by herself, and she grabs me, and gets my attention. She says, ‘Great job, son’ and I’m like, ‘Oh fuck!’ She embraced me, and it seemed like it was quite a while, and she said, ‘You’re the one, you must be the one. Please be safe, we love you,’ and she gave me a kiss. That was 35 years ago, and I’ll never, ever forget it.”
Cliff Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was an American musician and songwriter. He was best known as the bass guitarist for Metallica from December 1982 until his death in September 1986.
Burton joined Metallica in 1982 and performed on the band’s first three studio albums: Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. He also received a posthumous writing credit for the song “To Live Is to Die” from the band’s fourth studio album, …And Justice for All.
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.