It has been almost 40 years since Cliff Burton passed away. During his time in Metallica, the late bassist helped to create the band’s first three studio albums: Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets; he also received a posthumous writing credit on …And Justice For All.
During a recent conversation with Kerrang! Radio, both James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett were asked if there was any particular moment from their past they wished was caught on film. In response to this, Hammett talks about how he wishes there was more footage of Burton around.
In regard to those just discovering Metallica today, the guitarist says that there’s not “enough information about him,” and if he had one regret in regard to Burton, it’s that the late bassist was not documented enough.
Per Hammett (as transcribed by Blabbermouth): “I really wish that the first three or four years of [late Metallica bassist] Cliff Burton being in the band was documented more. Because there’s just not enough footage of him, there’s not enough pictures of him, there’s just not enough of him.
“For people who are coming into Metallica and finding out about Metallica, there’s just not enough information about him. If there’s one thing that I actually have a regret about, it’s not documenting Cliff enough. But, you know, back then, we didn’t know that it would be the situation that it is now. And so it would have been weird to say: ‘Okay, Cliff, come here. We’re just gonna film you.’ Weird. But if there’s one thing, I just wish there was just more Cliff footage.”
Hammett went on to add: “Cliff, he was hilarious all the time. Other than music, his other huge things in his life were beer and breakfast. He lived for beer and he lived for breakfast. He was always talking about beer and breakfast. And it was a funny thing. And I wish I would have had footage of him getting excited about going to a pub. Or whenever he had a plate full of food, he would walk differently. He would walk with a sense of urgency. I would just crack up ’cause it was just so weird to me.”
Alongside Hammett, Hetfield also reflected on Burton, sharing “He loved fishing and hammers as well […] we miss him to this day.”
It’s an incredible shame that there is not more documented footage of Cliff Burton. He was a truly talented and incredible human being.
We hope you are at peace Cliff – we love and miss you, man.