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METALLICA – Guitarist Provides Foreword To First-Ever CLIFF BURTON Biography


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In the 23 years since that devastating event, no one has chronicled Burton's huge talent and achievements in book form. However, in June 2009 this is set to change with the global publication of "To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica's Cliff Burton", written by U.K.-based author Joel McIver and published by Jawbone Press. The foreword has been provided by Cliff's close friend in METALLICA, Kirk Hammett.

"I'm deeply honored that Kirk spoke to me for the Cliff Burton biography," says McIver, who has written 14 books since 1999, including 2004's bestselling "Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica". "We talked about the rollercoaster ride of METALLICA's early career which he and Cliff experienced, from the time that both men joined the band in early 1983 until Cliff's death three and a half years later. The impact that Burton had on the rest of METALLICA, both musically and as an example of how to stick to your principles in the music industry, was profound — and Kirk provided a perspective on that impact which couldn't have come from anywhere else."

Other interviewees who spoke to McIver for this book, many for the first time on the public record, include Cliff's bass teacher Steve Doherty; legendary reporter and photographer Brian Lew; Bay Area headbanger Harald Oimoen, the subject of "The Ballad Of Harald O" by the infamous SPASTIK CHILDREN, in which Cliff played; that band's frontman Fred Cotton; EXODUS founder Gary Holt; the Metal Blade label founder Brian Slagel; photographer Ross Halfin; Cliff's first guitar tech Chuck Martin; METALLICA's first fanclub manager KJ Doughton; "Ride The Lightning" and "Master Of Puppets" producer Flemming Rasmussen; the last reporter to interview Cliff, Jörgen Holmstedt; roadie and ex-METAL CHURCH guitarist John Marshall, who was also in the bus crash which killed Burton; Lennart Wennberg, the photographer at the scene of the crash; and Cliff's girlfriend for the last year of his life, Corinne Lynn.

After Kirk Hammett's foreword, separate introductions are provided by a range of musicians influenced by Burton, including Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH), Alex Webster (CANNIBAL CORPSE), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT), Dave Ellefson (F5/ex-MEGADETH) and a host of other musicians and writers.

McIver's earlier book, "Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica", will be republished in its third edition in the summer by Omnibus Press. "Looks like that first METALLICA book has taken on a life of its own," comments the author. "Since its publication five years ago it's been translated into nine languages: clearly there was a gap in the market for a fully comprehensive book on METALLICA. Lars Ulrich told me recently that he's constantly asked to sign copies of it all over the world."

To order "To Live Is To Die: The Life And Death Of Metallica's Cliff Burton", visit Amazon.

(Thanks: David Ellefson)