Michael "Wurzel" Burston
October 23, 1949- July 9, 2011
(this is the best I could do for a picture. Sorry. Blame the photographers who won't share their work)
Former Motorhead guitarist Michael "Wurzel" Burston sadly passed away on Saturday July 9. He was 61 years old. Longtime bass technician for Motorhead's leader Lemmy, Tim Butcher, confirmed the news. Wurzel had died from heart disease. On the day of his death, Wurzel had been drinking Guinness and cracking jokes according a message published on Blabbermouth. Wurzel joined Motorhead back in 1984, along with guitarist Phil Campbell. It was at this time when Lemmy decided to make Motorhead a four piece band. Wurzel earned his nickname from his time in the army, as he was compared to Worzel Gummidge. Lemmy suggested to Wurzel to add umlauts to the "U" for the "heavy metal effect". Wurzel first appeared on the compilation No Remorse in 1984, which included several new Motorhead songs. Wurzel played the following Motorhead albums:
Rock N Roll (1987)
No Sleep At All (live, 1988)
March or Die (1992)
Wurzel was in Motorhead from 1984 till 1995 when he decided to leave the band. No one replaced Wurzel since Lemmy decided to make Motorhead a trio again with Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee. Before his death, Wurzel had been working on material with his new band, Leader of Down. Motorhead fouder and bassist Lemmy has stated the following:
"Wurzel was my friend and my brother and he's never going to laugh with me again or bitch me out or do...anything. And that truly and cosmically sucks. RIP Wurz. Godspeed. Good man."
As a Motorhead fan, it is sad to learn of Wurzel's passing. Although I don't own any of the albums Wurzel was on with Motorhead at this time, it's still sad. I will consider getting one of those albums now in memory of Wurzel. Wurzel is also one of the few people to share the same birthday as me so I though that was kind of cool! He seemed like a great guy and we'll all miss him.