Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It Was Twenty Years Ago Today.....



Metallica bassist Cliff Burton was killed in a freak tour bus accident in Europe. Here's an early video of him performing his legendary bass solo "Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)". To Metallica purists, the band may have had commercial success after Cliff died, but they were never the same. Warning: some bad words at the beginning as Cliff is introduced by James Hetfield.



He's 21 in the video, and died at 24. Read his wikipedia entry here.

I was a huge Metallica fan in their early years, and was particularly fond of Burton's bass-playing, as it seemed so unusually complex. I had always heard that the bassist was the least talented member of a band because the bass was the easiest instrument. Sid Vicious is proof in the pudding, but then again, you see a list of names like Geddy Lee, John Paul Jones, John Entwhistle, Bill Wyman and a guy named Paul McCartney, and one realizes that such a thought is not only highly insulting, but extremely inaccurate.

Still, when I think of great bassists, I think of Cliff.

4 comments:

Benjie516 said...

The bassist from Iron Maiden is incredible, and I think the band formed around him, right?

Oxypoet said...

Yes, I was going to add Steve Harris to the list, but figured many wouldn't know who he was. He's not only an incredible bassist, but Iron Maiden's major creative influence in songwriting.

mellomouth said...

One name...
Flea

Benjie516 said...

I'm sorry I was extremely inaccurate and insulting to John, Ox, Bill, and Paul (as well as Steve and Flea) when, a quarter century ago, I said "Hey, Bill, you should learn to play bass so you can play in my band."