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Metallica’s Lars Ulrich Remembers Cliff Burton 25 Years Later

Ross Halfin

Metallica bassist Cliff Burton passed away 25 years ago. He died in a bus crash while the band was on tour in Sweden on Sept. 27, 1986 and many recognize that was a critical point in the band’s career and their sound, not to mention their personal lives. Lars Ulrich, the other half of the ‘Tallica rhythm section, remembered his late friend and bandmate on the anniversary!

Ulrich told Revolver that Burton expanded “Metallica’s horizons musically” and had quite an effect on himself and frontman James Hetfield. He continued, “You could certainly argue that me and James at that time were more kind of the squarer guys, because we were more like, ‘Motorhead, Iron Maiden!’ Heavy metal T-shirts, and long hair and bang our heads into the wall.”

Burton, on the other hand, was a bit ahead of the curve. Ulrich recalled, “Cliff was just so fast in his palette of things that he was into and things that were inspiring him and the things that he was doing. So it was definitely his music, and his attitude, and his approach towards life that really inspired me and James to broaden our horizons, broaden Metallica’s horizons musically.

“I would’ve been interested to see what else he could’ve contributed, because it felt like we were just getting started. So when I think of Cliff, that’s what I think… that just kind of variety and unpredictability, you know.”

The world’s legion of Metallica fans often wonder that very same thing.

Watch Cliff Burton Perform a Bass Solo From ‘Cliff ‘Em All’

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