Metallica reflect on their late bassist Cliff Burton in a new video for Metallica: Back to the Front, an authorized book focusing on the band’s recording of their 1986 classic Master of Puppets. Although Burton died in a bus crash just months after the LP’s release, the members of Metallica still feel close to Burton, and curating this book – with its never-before-seen, fan-submitted photos of Burton – further reconnected the band with the bassist.
“I still miss Cliff, no doubt. I’d love to see him again at some point,” James Hetfield said. “So seeing photos that I haven’t seen before, especially where we’re together, that is awesome. To get another piece of him back into my heart is great.”
“Very emotional memories seeing Cliff,” Kirk Hammett said. “Seeing pictures of Cliff and I in the hotel rooms, Cliff and I hanging out. Pictures of us in the dressing rooms when our dressing room was a deli tray, a stack of towels and, disproportionately, just a ton of booze … I respect Cliff’s memory. I respect everything he stood up for and it’s what I try to stand up for.”
Thirty years after his death, Burton’s dad Ray remains an important member of the Metallica family.
“He’s a great human being, and obviously the fact that he’s Cliff Burton’s dad is another reason we love having him around. But that’s not the primary reason,” Lars Ulrich said. “Ray has weathered all of these experiences with a smile on his face and whenever he walks into a room – when Metallica’s backstage or here at HQ or any other place that we’re fortunate enough to see him – he always has this incredible positive energy.”
In August, Metallica posted a video of Ray Burton thumbing through his advance copy of Back to the Front, which officially arrives September 13th.