Clive Burr, former drummer for heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has died aged 56. Burr, who joined Iron Maiden before their debut album, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001 and had been struggling with health problems due to the disease. He passed away in his sleep.
Burr joined Iron Maiden in 1979, playing drums on the band’s 1980 self-titled debut, sophomore album Killers in 1981 and Iron Maiden’s iconic breakout album The Number Of The Beast in 1982.
In a statement posted on the band’s official website, Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris expressed his grief over the lost of his friend and gratitude to his former bandmate:
“This is terribly sad news. Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time.”
Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson reminisced on first meeting Burr, noting that the drummer always maintained a sense of humour and positive attitude, even as he struggled with multiple sclerosis:
“I first met Clive when he was leaving Samson and joining Iron Maiden. He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his M.S., Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence. This is a terribly sad day and all our thoughts are with Mimi and the family.”
As reported by NME, other musicians have also acknowledged the passing of Burr. David Ellefson of Megadeth posted on Facebook that Burr is one of his favourite metal drummers of all times. English musician Frank Turner tweeted that Maiden’s second album Killers, featuring Burr on drums, was the first album he owned.
Blabbermouth have collected other musicians’ memories of Burr including Dave Lombardo of Slayer and Dave McClain from Machine Head. Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante took to Facebook to pay his respects, writing that, “He was awesome, I was bummed when Maiden let him go. RIP Clive, You have Influenced so many and to this Day…Nobody Plays Like you.”
Sad to hear of the passing of Clive Burr, original Maiden drummer. Killers was the first album I owned. Will play it loud today.
— Frank Turner (@frankturner) March 13, 2013