Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian recalled in an interview with Robb Flynn (Transcribed by Ultimate Guitar) being with Metallica members after the bus accident that killed bassist Cliff Burton back in 1986. Ian recalled that he stayed at James Hetfield‘s apartment with the singer for a few days.
“(I was) devastated, angry, all of the how many steps of… anger, grief, denial, five stages of grief or whatever. Yeah, I mean, Cliff was our friend. He wasn’t our bass player, obviously. I would say the same as you said about what were your guys’ mindset, Metallica’s mindset.
“Having been there, I mean, it was devastating. I immediately flew – we got home, and I flew to San Francisco, and I was actually staying with James [Hetfield, guitar/vocals] in his little apartment – he had an apartment in the city at the time.”
“And I was staying with him and spent about a week because the funeral was happening, and every day we would go out to Kirk’s [Hammett, guitar] mom’s house in El Sobrante, and everyone would just be sitting around.”
“I met ‘Puffy’ [Mike Bordin] for the first time, actually, that week, because he and Cliff were close, just trying to be there for my friends and not think about it too much “It was just so unbelievable, and there was really no way to get any type of closure, understanding.”
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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