METALLICA's Kirk Hammett has paid tribute to the band's late bassist Cliff Burton on the 34th anniversary of his death.
Earlier today, Hammett shared a classic concert photo of him and Burton, and he included the following photo: "Cliff was one of my closest friends. He was really smart and funny too. We shared a love for horror, HP Lovecraft, and THE VELVET UNDERGROUND. He constantly pushed me to be a better person and musician. One of his favorite quotes he would say to me often was 'There is power in truth, never back down.'
"It was so unexpected when he left us. The sadness remains. I will always remember him.
"I am not sure who took this photo — but it's a great one. @metallica #metallicafamily"
Burton was asked to join METALLICA in 1982 after the band saw him perform with his group at the time, TRAUMA.
The bassist was not willing to move to Los Angeles, where METALLICA was based at the time, so they decided to move to the San Francisco area so that he would join.
Burton played on METALLICA's first three studio albums — "Kill 'Em All", "Ride The Lightning" and "Master Of Puppets" — and co-wrote classic songs like "Ride The Lightning", "For Whom The Bell Tolls", "Fade To Black", "Creeping Death" and "Master Of Puppets".
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.
February 10, 2018 was proclaimed "Cliff Burton Day" by Alameda County supervisors. The late METALLICA bassist would have turned 56 years old on that date had he lived.