CLIFF BURTON Was 'So Nervous' When GEDDY LEE Came To See METALLICA Perform
January 29, 2022
As part of METALLICA's 40th-anniversary celebrations, the band's longtime photographer Ross Halfin was the subject of a 90-minute question-and-answer session with Steffan Chirazi, the editor of METALLICA's fan-club magazine So What!, on December 18, 2021 at Elk's Lodge in San Francisco, California. Ostensibly to discuss Halfin's book documenting METALLICA's "Black" album era — "Metallica: The Black Album In Black & White" — the conversation also looked back over Halfin's career, focusing on his decades of work with the band. METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett dropped in for a chat too, and the audience chipped in with several questions of their own.
Reflecting on one of METALLICA's early tours, Hammett said: "Geddy Lee [RUSH] showed up at one of our shows on the 'Ride The Lightning' tour. We played Toronto, and all of a sudden we got a message backstage that Geddy Lee was in the audience. And [late METALLICA bassist] Cliff Burton just freaked out. He started pacing, he started smoking pot, and he was, like, 'Oh my God! Geddy! Geddy Lee!' He could not settle down; he was so nervous and just happy at the same time that Geddy Lee was there. And then Ross tells him that Geezer Butler [BLACK SABBATH] is out there one night. Same thing — he starts pacing around, super nervous, grab[s] a beer."
Back in 2015, Geddy confirmed the longstanding rumor that he almost produced METALLICA's classic 1986 album "Master Of Puppets". He told Noisey: "It's sort of true. There was some discussion with [METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich], back in the day, about working with them. This was before 'Master Of Puppets' came out, I think. There was talk, you know. I was friends with their management, and I met Lars back in England. I remember going to see them here in Toronto when they played at the Masonic Temple. That's when the original bass player [Cliff Burton] was still happening. You know, before that tragedy. And, you know, we talked about it, and I liked their band a lot at that time. But it just never came together."
During the same interview, Lee admitted that he isn't much of a heavy metal fan.
"I don't listen to a lot of metal," he said. "Even though there's an aspect of our sound that can be quite metal, I sort of attribute it more to early metal, in the way that [LED] ZEPPELIN were metal and in the way that BLACK SABBATH were metal, and BLUE CHEER were metal. And that's the sort of tradition of metal that we took on."
He continued: "I like METALLICA. I've got great respect for them. But you won't hear too much speed metal or death metal in my house."
Cliff joined METALLICA in 1982 and performed on the band's first three studio albums: "Kill 'Em All", "Ride The Lightning" and "Master Of Puppets". He also received a posthumous writing credit for the song "To Live Is to Die" from the band's fourth studio album, "...And Justice For All" and was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of METALLICA on April 4, 2009.
His life was tragically cut short at the age of 24 in a tour bus crash on September 27, 1986 in Sweden.
Burton's initial replacement in the group was Jason Newsted, who stayed in the lineup until 2001. Robert Trujillo joined in 2003 and remains in the band to this day.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).