CLIFF BURTON: Demos And Jams Of Late METALLICA Bassist Unearthed

December 6, 2004

RollingStone.com is reporting that a longtime friend of late METALLICA bassist Cliff Burton has a batch of his unreleased demo tapes, which he hopes to donate to a burgeoning musician. Burton was killed in 1986 when the band's bus crashed in Sweden on the "Master of Puppets" tour.

"There are METALLICA mega-hits that will never be," says Dave DiDonato, a drummer in his own right, of the tapes. "All these killer riffs . . . he was working on them until he died."

Such tapes were key to METALLICA's songwriting process. Burton, singer-guitarist James Hetfield and lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (and his predecessor, Dave Mustaine) would record them, and bandleaders Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich would then sift through them to construct songs. After Burton's death, the bassist earned a posthumous songwriting credit when one of his riffs served as the foundation for "To Live Is to Die", from 1998's "...And Justice for All".

Burton's parents gave DiDonato the tapes after their son's death, and DiDonato wants to get them in the hands of someone who can continue in Burton's spirit. "I would love to find a young bass musician following in [Cliff's] footsteps," he says, "someone who would utilize this material to improve his craft and appreciate the music, and devote himself to doing what Cliff was doing." (Interested parties can contact DiDonato through his RotGrub.com web site.) Read more.

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