Motörhead Guitarist Würzel Dead at 61

Former member of metal band struggled with heart disease

July 11, 2011 9:00 AM ET
MOTORHEAD, Mick Wurzel Burston, Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell, Pete Gill  guitarist dead
Pete Gill, Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mick Wurzel Burston of Motorhead.
Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images

Motörhead guitarist Michael "Würzel" Burston died yesterday at the age of 61 after a struggle with heart disease. Würzel was a member of the British metal band between 1984 and 1996, and performed on seven of the group's albums including Orgasmatron, 1916 and March ör Die. In addition to his work with Motörhead, the guitarist recorded two solo albums, Bess and Chill Out or Die (The Ambient Album), and was more recently working on music with his new band, Leader of Down.

Motorhead: Behind the Scenes on Lemmy Kilmister and Co.'s 2008 European Tour

Burston acquired the name Würzel while serving in Germany as a corporal in the British army. The name was a reference to the British children's television character Worzel Gummidge, a talking scarecrow. Burston added an umlaut to the name on the suggestion of Motörhead leader Lemmy Kilmister, who thought it would come across as more "metal" that way.

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