The Metallica Song Cliff Burton Last Played Live
via CharlesBerthoud / YouTube
On March 3, 1986, Metallica unveiled their third studio album, Master of Puppets, earning widespread acclaim from music critics and metal enthusiasts who hailed it as a pinnacle in the genre.
The combination of lyrical depth, powerful sound, and the exceptional songwriting and instrumental prowess of the band members contributed to its universal recognition. The album achieved global chart success and evolved into a timeless Metallica classic, owing to its distinctive qualities.
In support of this release, Metallica kicked off the Damage, Inc. Tour on March 27, 1986, commencing in Valley Center and concluding in Gothenburg on February 13, 1987. Regrettably, during the initial concerts of the tour, none of the Metallica members were aware that it would mark their final journey with bassist Cliff Burton.
The tour turned out to be a profoundly poignant and distressing experience for nearly everyone involved, as it unfolded into an unforeseen farewell to a cherished band member.
The Untimely Demise of Cliff Burton
In Sweden, as Metallica members prepared for their bus journey to the next concert venue, they encountered an issue – the bunks were exceedingly uncomfortable, making sleep or rest nearly impossible.
In an attempt to resolve the situation, Burton and Kirk Hammett engaged in a card game, oblivious to the fact that it would prove to be a matter of life and death. Burton emerged victorious, claiming Hammett’s seat, a decision that would alter his fate.
Regrettably, their tour bus skidded off the road, propelling Burton through a window. On September 27, 1986, the Metallica bassist succumbed to injuries sustained in the accident. While the bus driver attributed the incident to icy road conditions, James Hetfield accused him of being under the influence of alcohol.
Burton’s untimely death left his family, friends, bandmates, and fans worldwide in profound grief. Before departing this world, the bassist bestowed upon them a final gift.
The Final Song Cliff Burton Played
On September 26th, just a day before his tragic and accidental demise, Metallica took the stage in Stockholm as part of their ongoing Damage, Inc. Tour. The poignant significance lies in the fact that the last song performed by Burton was “Fight Fire with Fire”, originally featured in their Ride the Lightning album.
For devoted fans and Metallica members who still mourn Burton’s loss, this track remains an enduring source of pain.
Following the bassist’s untimely departure, the surviving members of Metallica faced a period of healing and mourning. Support from friends and colleagues played a crucial role in helping them navigate this challenging time.
Subsequently, Jason Newsted was enlisted as the replacement for the late bassist, and the band continued their tour. Despite the ongoing journey of Hetfield, Hammett, and Lars Ulrich in touring and creating music, they consistently paid tribute to Burton, ensuring that his memory was never forgotten.