Former Motorhead guitarist Michael ‘Wurzel’ Burston died yesterday (July 9), according to longtime band bass tech Tim Butcher's Facebook page. The cause of death was ventricular fibrillation, triggered by cardiomyopathy. Wurzel was 61 years old.

Prior to teaming up with Motorhead in 1984, Burston served as a corporal in the British Army. He also played in the bands Bastard and Warfare.

Burston picked up the nickname “Wurzel” while serving in the army, thanks to his scarecrow-like hair and his resemblance to the children’s TV character Worzel Gummidge.  Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister allegedly insisted that the axe-man added an umlaut to the "u" in his moniker, to give it a "heavy metal effect."

Wurzel appeared on the Motorhead albums 'No Remorse' (1984), 'Orgasmatron' (1986), 'Rock 'N' Roll' (1987), '1916' (1991), 'March or Die' (1992), 'Bastards' (1993) and 'Sacrifice' (1995). He parted ways with Motorhead in 1995.

Most recently, Wurzel played with a new project, Leader of Down, who headlined the U.K. fundraiser ‘Never Mind the Bullocks’ in support of Midlands Air Ambulance last month.

Watch Wurzel Perform 'Ace of Spades' with Motorhead

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