Metallica Share Emotional Memories of Cliff Burton in New Video
Subscribe to Ultimate Classic Rock on
The members of Metallica reflect on the loss of Cliff Burton in a promotional video for Back to the Front, a new book focusing on the band’s final album with the late bassist. The memories were sparked by its treasure trove of rare, never-before-seen photographs from sessions for 1986’s Master of Puppets.
“I still miss Cliff, no doubt. I’d love to see him again at some point,” James Hetfield says in the clip, which you can watch above. “So seeing photos that I haven’t seen before, especially where we’re together, that is awesome. To get another piece of him back into my heart is great.”
Burton died in a 1986 bus crash during the European leg of Metallica’s tour in support of Master of Puppets. The 24-year-old had appeared on each of the band’s first three albums, and also earned a posthumous writing credit for “To Live Is to Die” from their next record, 1988’s … And Justice for All.
“Very emotional memories seeing Cliff,” Kirk Hammett adds in the video. “Seeing pictures of Cliff and I in the hotel rooms, Cliff and I hanging out. Pictures of us in the dressing rooms when our dressing room was a deli tray, a stack of towels and, disproportionately, just a ton of booze. … I respect Cliff’s memory.”
Burton’s father, Ray, remains a part of the Metallica family, decades after his son’s tragic death. The band earlier posted a video of the elder Burton enjoying an advance copy of Back to the Front, which arrives on Sept. 13.
“He’s a great human being, and obviously the fact that he’s Cliff Burton’s dad is another reason we love having him around. But that’s not the primary reason,” Lars Ulrich says. “Ray has weathered all of these experiences with a smile on his face and whenever he walks into a room – when Metallica’s backstage or here at HQ or any other place that we’re fortunate enough to see him – he always has this incredible positive energy.”
Metallica Albums Ranked Worst to Best