Former MOTRHEAD Guitarist WRZEL Reportedly Dies At 61

According to a posting on the Facebook page of Tim Butcher, longtime bass tech for MOTRHEAD frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, former MOTRHEAD guitarist Michael "Wrzel" Burston passed away earlier today (Saturday, July 9). No official statement has been made, but it is believed that Burston died of ventricular fibrillation, caused by cardiomyopathy, better known as heart disease. He was 61 years old.

Butcher called Burston a "great guitarist" and a "complete gent." "We will miss you," he added.

Before joining MOTRHEAD in 1984, Burston had been a corporal in the Army, serving in Germany and Ireland with the 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment, and had played in the bands BASTARD and WARFARE. Joining another relatively unknown guitarist, Phil Campbell, they played together at a MOTRHEAD audition, and both were taken on.

Burston acquired the nickname Wrzel while in the Army, being compared to the character Worzel Gummidge due to his scarecrow-style hair and bumpkin-like manner. Lemmy reportedly demanded that Wrzel add an umlaut to the "U" in his name, for "heavy metal effect."

Wrzel can be heard on the following MOTRHEAD albums:

* No Remorse (1984)
* Orgasmatron (1986)
* Rock 'n' Roll (1987)
* N Sleep at All (1988)
* The Birthday Party (1990)
* 1916 (1991)
* March r Die (1992)
* Bastards (1993)
* Sacrifice (1995)

Wrzel left MOTRHEAD in 1995.

For the past couple of years, Burston has played with a new band called LEADER OF DOWN, which last month headlined the main stage at the U.K. fundraising music festival "Never Mind The Bullocks" in aid of Midlands Air Ambulance.

Wrzel joined MOTRHEAD on stage on November 28, 2009 at the Hammersmith Apollo to perform the band's classic song "Ace Of Spades". Video footage of his appearance can be seen below.

Tags:

Posted in: News

COMMENTS

To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.