Clifford Lee Burton: Age 24 | Cause Of Death: CAR CRASH
(b. 10 February 1962, USA, d. 27 September 1986, Sweden)
Formed during 1981, in California, USA by Lars Ulrich (b. 26 December 1963, Copenhagen, Denmark; drums) and James Alan Hetfield (b. 3 August 1963, USA; guitar/vocals) after each separately advertised for fellow musicians in the classified advertisements of the American publication THE RECYCLER. Jef Warner (guitar) and Ron McGovney (bass) each had a brief involvement with Metallica, and at the end of 1982, Clifford Lee Burton, formerly of Trauma, joined the band, playing his first live performance on 5 March 1983. Burton had never been a particularly smooth player, but other band members had not attempted to reign him in. They did try once, however, to persuade him to forego his bell-bottom jeans in favor of more traditional heavy metal garb, but quickly realized the attempt was futile; Burton was set in his ways and rarely influenced by others. In truly bizarre heavy metal fashion, one of his dreams had been to invent a gun that shot knives instead of bullets. The Ulrich, Hetfield, Burton and Hammett combination lasted until disaster struck the band in the small hours of 27 September 1986, when Metallica’s tour bus overturned in Sweden on an icy road, killing Cliff Burton.