MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine has paid tribute to vocalist/bassist Burke Shelley of legendary Welsh rockers BUDGIE who died on January 10 at the age of 71.
Earlier today (Saturday, January 15),the 60-year-old Mustaine took to his Twitter to write: "I heard Burke Shelley passed away. I am saddened at our loss of a really great musician. I wish I knew him. I'd say, 'Thank you for your life, your inspiration, and your music.'"
Mustaine has mentioned his love of BUDGIE on a number of occasions in the past, including in an interview with Kerrang! when he recalled how he landed a gig as METALLICA's guitarist in 1981. "I called up Lars [Ulrich, METALLICA drummer] after seeing the ad in The Recycler and told him I listened to MOTÖRHEAD. I also said I liked BUDGIE and [in a mock Danish accent] he answered, 'You loike fockin' BODGIE, man?' He sounded excited about that. So I met him at his house in Newport Beach, and it was a lot of fun. I was in the garage where everything was set up. I was warming up and the guys were in the other room listening. Eventually I got tired of waiting for them, so I went in and asked if they were ready to audition me. They told me, 'No, you've got the job.' So I was like, 'Awesome! Okay, let's go.'"
METALLICA was one of several high-profile groups which covered BUDGIE classics over the years: "Crash Course In Brain Surgery" appeared on 1987's "Garage Days Re-Revisited", and "Breadfan" was the B-side to the "Harvester Of Sorrow" single in 1988.
Ulrich also paid tribute to Shelley, writing on his Instagram: "Thank you Burke for everything you did for heavy music and much next level appreciation for co-writing and creating two songs that METALLICA were honored to record over the years, 'Breadfan' and 'Crash Course In Brain Surgery'."
Two years ago, Shelley said that he was suffering from aortic aneurysm — a dangerous and abnormal swelling of the main artery that supplies blood to the body. He was also batting Stickler syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause serious vision, hearing and joint problems. At the time, he told Wales Online that he turned down surgery because of the risk that it would cause irreparable spinal damage.
"I want to live what life I have left and not be crippled," he said. "I've got faith in God and have no worries about where I'm going. So I'll just go when He decides to take me and, in the meantime, I'll carry on doing what I want to do. Simple as that."
Shelley said the surgery he had in 2010 for aortic aneurysm resulted in damage to his diaphragm, leaving him unable to sing properly.
Often thought of as a cross between BLACK SABBATH and RUSH, the underappreciated outfit has influenced countless acts, despite enduring countless line-up shifts throughout their history.
The group originally formed in 1967 in Cardiff, Wales, comprised of Shelley (vocals, bass),Tony Bourge (guitar) and Ray Phillips (drums),and by the early 1970s they'd inked a deal with MCA Records.
This early lineup remains BUDGIE's most definitive, due to the fact that it spawned three of the group's finest albums — 1971's self-titled debut, 1972's "Squawk" and 1973's "Never Turn Your Back On A Friend" — while the group's quirky song titles became somewhat of a trademark for the trio (such ditties as "Nude Disintegrating Parachutist Woman", "Hot As A Docker's Armpit", "In The Grip Of A Tyrefitter's Hand" and "You're The Biggest Thing Since Powdered Milk").
Despite building a sizeable following in their homeland (while never breaking out of cult status stateside),Phillips left the group prior to their fourth album, 1974's "In For the Kill!", replaced by newcomer Pete Boot, which would in turn set off a flurry of steady lineup changes over the years for the group (the only constant BUDGIE member from the beginning was Shelley). Further releases were issued throughout the '70s, including 1975's "Bandolier".
Shelley and company would remain together for a few more years before splitting up quietly by the mid-'80s. But almost as soon as they disbanded, groups began covering BUDGIE classics, including IRON MAIDEN ("I Can't See My Feelings"),while back in its early club days VAN HALEN was known to cover the title track from "In For The Kill!"