Metallica Lost Cliff Burton 27-Year-Ago Today
On September 27th 1986 after playing a show in Stockholm, Sweden Metallica jumped on a tour bus and headed to their next show. That night the bus hit a patch of black ice turned over and crashed. Everyone came out of the crash uninjured except for bassist Cliff Burton, he died at the scene.
As the story goes Cliff Burton’s band Trauma was in Los Angeles to play the Whisky a Go Go. James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich were in attendance and after hearing this wild shredding went looking for the guitarist.
What they found was Cliff Burton playing what would become ‘Anesthesia, Pulling Teeth.’ They asked him to join Metallica, Burton said yes only if the band would relocate to San Francisco. They did and the rest is history as they say.
I was lucky enough to see Cliff Burton twice.
The first time was at a rollerskating rink in St. Louis County. The rink was pretty good size and had a stage at one end. The owner would bring bands in from time to time. On this night he had a triple bill of Armored Saint, Metallica and W.A.S.P. It was a wild show and I think it was the last time a show was held at that rink.
The last time was when Ozzy came to town for his 'Ultimate Sin' tour. Metallica was out in support of their ‘Master of Puppets’ release. I have seen Ozzy several times and I will have to say this was the only time I think the opening act was better than Ozzy.
Metal lost a great man that day in Sweden and I don’t think I have heard another like him.