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Guitarist Michael Burston dies at 61

Musician played with British metal band Motorhead

Guitarist Michael Burston, who played for more than a decade with the top British metal act Motorhead under the pseudonym “Wurzel,” died July 9 of cardiomyopathy. He was 61.

Burston had played with the lesser-known U.K. metal acts Bastard and Warfare before successfully auditioning with Motorhead, fronted by bassist Lemmy Kilmister, in 1984. He first appeared on record with the group on “Killed By Death,” a signature song on the 1984 compilation set “No Remorse.”

He made his full-length album bow on “Orgasmatron” (1986). Burston’s stint as a writer and guitarist for Motorhead coincided with the band’s tenure on Epic Records, when their international popularity was at its height. He was featured on “Rock ‘n’ Roll” (1987), “1916” (1991), “March or Die” (1992) “Bastards” (1993) and “Sacrifice” (1995), plus the live album “No Sleep at All” (1988). He also appeared in the 1990 live video “The Birthday Party” and a 1991 video version of “1916.”

After exiting Motorhead in ’95, he performed with the groups Warhead, Disgust and Splodgenessabounds, recorded the ambient solo album “Chill Our Or Die” (1998), and fronted the group Leader of Down. He sat in with Motorhead at festival appearances in 2008 and 2009. (Christopher Morris)

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