Metallica Stars Look Back At Cliff Burton's Death


(Metal Hammer) Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett have recalled the tour bus crash that killed bassist Cliff Burton 30 years ago this month - and how their first reaction to the tragedy was anger.

Burton died in Sweden on September 27, 1986, when he was thrown out of a bus window after the driver lost control, and the vehicle then rolled over him.

The accident left Hetfield, Hammett and drummer Lars Ulrich feeling lost and alone, and struggling to deal with their emotions. Frontman Hetfield would have been sleeping in the same part of the bus as Burton if he hadn't been trying to keep his throat intact from cold air seeping through the windows.

He tells In The Studio: "My throat was going bad, so I was asleep in the back lounge. The tour buses you see here are all metal-sided, but it was all windows on the side, and that was the main cause of the death.

"It hit so-called black ice, skidded out and bounced once, and that's when he went through the window, and the bus went right on him. It was pretty quick and I know he didn't know what hit him."

Hetfield continues: "Coming out and finding your buddy under the bus is not something you want to go through. Our first reaction was anger - one of the things we were good at.

"'Why did this happen? Where's the driver? Let me smell your breath.' I walked for miles looking for this black ice in my underwear, when it's 20 below. There were screams from the crew who were still trapped in there, screaming in pain - broken collar bones, toes, all that." Read more here.

Metal Hammer is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Metal Hammer - Excerpted here with permission.


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