Metallica's Late Bassist Commemorated With "Cliff Burton Day" | Revolver

Metallica's Late Bassist Commemorated With "Cliff Burton Day"

Castro Valley, California, to honor hometown hero on what would have been his 56th birthday
Cliff Burton Getty, Fin Costello/Redferns
photograph by Fin Costello/Redferns

Alameda County, California, officials have declared February 10th, 2018 "Cliff Burton Day," in commemoration of the late Metallica bassist's would-be 56th birthday. The proclamation was issued just four weeks after fans launched a petition to recognize the musician's birthday in his hometown of Castro Valley, California. 

The Big Four thrashers subsequently confirmed the news on social media, posting a photo of the proclamation. "Thanks to all of the fans who got behind this initiative," they wrote. "We love that he remains so revered."

Born and raised in Castro Valley, a small town outside of Oakland, Burton began his formal musical training at age six, learning piano and bass from a local instructor, the proclamation notes. His work with popular local metal band Trauma caught the attention of James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, who named him Metallica's bassist in 1982. Burton recorded three legendary albums with the band – 1983's Kill 'Em All, 1984's Ride the Lightning, and 1986's Master of Puppets – before losing his life in a tour bus accident on September 27, 1986.

"My fondest memories of Cliff are his total disregard for convention and his total disregard for playing things out the way you expected them," Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich said of his late bandmate in a 2013 interview with Revolver. "He was up to challenge the normalcy, to challenge the status quo, to just fuck with things musically, attitude-wise — the way he dressed, the way he carried himself, his sense of humor, his relationship with the music that inspired him, the music that he played. It was always very unconventional, and it was very unusual."

Read "The Tao of Cliff Burton: 10 Great Quotes from Metallica's Late Bass Player."