Godspeed, Clive...

I still can't quite believe it... Clive Burr is gone:
Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr passed away last night peacefully in his sleep at the age of 56. Burr joined Maiden in 1979 and performed on the first three albums Iron Maiden (1980), Killers (1981) and The Number Of The Beast (1982). Burr was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which caused him to need a wheelchair and left him in great debt. Iron Maiden staged several charity concerts for Burr.
Steve Harris said “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.”
Bruce Dickinson adds “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”
It's true that Clive hasn't been active in music for decades. It's true that his drumming, while phenomenally energetic and enjoyable on the first three IRON MAIDEN albums, couldn't hold a candle to Nicko McBrain's incredibly technical and punchy style that followed. None of this changes his immense contributions to the history of heavy metal. And none of it diminishes my great respect for him, or my sadness at his passing.

I was sixteen when I first listened to "The Number of the Beast". And that was it. I was hooked on metal, and IRON MAIDEN in particular. I'll never forget the day I bought that album, along with five other MAIDEN albums (and BRUCE DICKINSON's absolute masterpiece, "The Chemical Wedding"), and the massive euphoric high I got from listening to neck-snapping tracks like "Invaders" and "The Prisoner". And that, really, is what metal is all about- the memories, the feelings, the release from the miseries and frustrations of this world and the escape into another.

Clear skies, Clive. May the Lord grant you peace and happiness at long last, and may you find in the light of His grace and compassion the existence free of pain, immobility, and suffering that you were denied here on Earth.

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