Cliff Burton

"Cliff ran that band; absolutely nothing happened without his okay. People don't realize how important he was..." - Ross Halfin

Birthplace: Castro Valley,CA

Instrument: Bass guitar

Other instrument: He had ever learn about piano.

Former Groups: Trauma,EZ Street,A.D.2 Million,Agents of Misfortune

Favorite Author: H.P.Lovecraft

Quote: To Live Is To Die.

For three and a half years Cliff worked hard to take Metallica to the top. After replacing Ron McGovney in late 1982, Cliff instantly made a name for himself with his classic windmill style of thrashing onstage, with his hair flying out in all directions, and with his outdated, completely "unfashionable" image: with his hair hanging straight down from his head, he seemed eternally clad in a pair of bell-bottom jeans and a faded denim jacket. If it was cold, he wore a flannel shirt underneath and those cool black fingerless gloves.

Cliff was often referred to as the "soul of Metallica," and he was an integral part of their innovative sound and approach during a particularly important period in their development.

Ljungby,Sweden,Sept.27th,1986.

On September 27th,1986 Metallica held several tour arround Skandinavia, and will be finished in Stockholm, Unfortunately the bus that carrying the crew having an accident that killed Cliff Burton, Cliff ejected from the window while he was sleeping on that bus....

 

He was certainly the most unanimously appreciated by the band members as well as by the public. In fact, many original fans of the band maintain that the true free spirit of Metallica died with him.

In fact, even today, more than ten years since his death, Jason Newsted is still considered Cliff's replacement. Sadly for Jason, he will never truly be accepted by those who knew the band when Cliff was around.

At the conclusion of his memorial service (October 7, 1986), "Orion" was played. The elaborate instrumental made a fitting tribute for the young bassist since it was largely his composition.

Cliff was cremated and his ashes were spread at one of his favorite hang-outs, the Maxwell Ranch.\par In the final ceremony, a group of close friends and family formed a circle around Cliff's ashes, and one by one, each person walked towards the middle of the circle, took a handful of his ashes, said something about Cliff and then threw his ashes in to the earth.


Remembering the race to play bass with MetallicA...

MetallicA memories are understandably a little hazy when it comes to trying to recall all of the many bass players who came down to audition after Cliff's death.Practically every bass player in town had a go,from the famous to the not so famous.The gig was so desirable that even several guitar players strapped on a bass.Many of course are not even worth remembering,while other worthy players simply didn't fit in(which in MetallicA`s case,was a necessary requirement).The auditions are remembered by those who were there as both hot and extremely loud,hardly ideal conditions in which to impress such demanding musicians.Many who survived this trial by fire have gone on to success in their own right.Among the songs played at tryouts were "Master of Puppets","Damage Inc." and "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

One person that the band asked to audition but who didn't was Joey Vera from Armored Saint.Vera has no regrets,as Armored Saint have just release the best record of their career and MetallicA are doing just fine with Jason Newsted,but it's interesting to reflect on what might have been.

Here's a partial list of contenders:

Greg Christian from Testament

Willie from Laaz Rockit

Les Claypool from Primus

Troy Gregory (The guy who replaced Jason in Flotsam & Jetsam)

Gene Gilfen from Blind Illusion

Mel Sanchez from Abattoir

Yaz from Heathen

The guy from Culprit

The guy from Violence

 

1