Metallica bassist Cliff Burton unfortunately died too soon at the age of 24 in an accident with the band’s tour bus in 1986. In an rare interview made by Harald O. back in the 80’s with Burton and published in Thrash Metal magazine the musician recalls when he started playing bass guitar and his early influences.
“I started playing in 1976. I used to jam around with some local friends. Then I got together with these guys who called themselves EZ Street, named after a strip joint in San Mateo.”
“Oh, it was all kinds of weird shit. It was pretty silly, actually. We did a lot of covers, just wimpy shit. But I was with them for a while, for a few years. And that slowly but surely disintegrated. Then I saw Trauma and I thought, “Well, I might as well do that.” Didn’t have anything better to do.”
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.
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