Cliff Burton's last concert in Solnahallen, Stockholm, Sweden in 1986 - and the last "real" Metallica show - after this it all went downhill for the band!
"Clifford Lee Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was a bass guitarist, best known for his work with the heavy metal band Metallica from 1982-86.
Burton's early influence was essential in creating the unique musical style for which Metallica would later become famous. An angry, working-class sound, characterized by a driving bassline, stylised lead and powerful rhythm guitar, the band would be seen as innovators of heavy metal music through much of the late 80s and early 90s.
Burton was born on February 10, 1962 in Castro Valley, California to Jan and Ray Burton. He was raised in the San Francisco Bay bay area by his parents. Burton began playing the bass at age 13, and would practice up to 6 hours per day. His early influences varied from Classical music to Southern rock.
Upon graduating from Castro Valley High School in 1980, Burton studied music at Napa Valley Junior College in northern California. One of his fellow schoolmates was "Big" Jim Martin, former guitarist of Faith No More, with whom Burton would jam. Burton joined his first band, Trauma, in 1982.
In 1982, Trauma travelled to Los Angeles to perform at the Whisky a Go Go. Among those in attendance were James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, both members of Metallica. After hearing Burton play his famous solo "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth", they asked him to replace departed bassist Ron McGovney, and since he felt that Trauma was "...starting to get a little commercial", he agreed. But the idea of having to move to Los Angeles did not sit well with him. Burton managed to convince the band to relocate from Los Angeles to the San Francisco Bay Area.
During the European part of the Master of Puppets tour, the band had complained that the sleeping cubicles on their tour bus were unsatisfactory and uncomfortable. As a minor solution the members would draw cards for the most comfortable bunk. On the evening of September 27, 1986 Burton had won the game with an ace of spades. He was sound asleep when the band's tour bus encountered a patch of black ice, skidded off of the road, and flipped over on the grass in Ljungby Municipality, rural Sweden. Burton fell through the window of the emergency exit door and was killed instantly when the bus landed on top of him.
Burton's body was cremated, and his ashes were scattered on the Maxwell Ranch. At the ceremony, the instrumental "Orion" from the album Master of Puppets was played. Subsequently, Metallica did not perform this song again until June 6, 2006 (when they performed the album in its entirety to mark the 20th anniversary of its release)".
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