Cliff Burton Tribute

  On September 27, 1986: Cliff Burton dies at the age of 24

On the 27th of of September 1986, Metallica's two tour buses were on their way to do a fourth show in Copenhagen. Apart from these vehicles, the route was deserted, there was no one else traveling at that early hour of the morning.

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, just before dawn, at about 5:15 am, one of the coaches swerved violently to its right and started careening wildly down the wrong side of the road. It was out of control, and a crash was inevitable.

On board were the four band members. The bus's brief but horrific excursion came to a halt some 60 feet further up the tarmac. By this time, though, the vehicle was on its side and lying in a ditch by the side of the road near the small Swedish town of Ljungby.

There was only one fatalaty. Cliff was sleeping on the top level of the right rear bunk in the bus when the bus started to roll and he was thrown out of the bus window. He was crushed by the bus in the accident and died immediately on contact.

So, tragically, in the short space of those few dreadful seconds on that lonely Swedish road, Metallica's dreamlike existence was suddenly transformed into a hellish nightmare. Their 24 year-old bass player, Cliff Burton, was dead

Cliff Burton Main Page
Cliff Burton Biography
Cliff Burton Tribute