Metallica have posted on their official website to offer both joint and individual tributes to Ray Burton, the father of late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton. Ray died last week (Jan. 15) at the age of 94. Cliff died in a tour bus crash in 1986.

The Burton family patriarch's passing was confirmed Sunday (Jan. 19) by Connie Burton, Ray's daughter and Cliff's big sister. “To let you all know that my Dad died last Wednesday,” she wrote in a Facebook post early Sunday evening. Shortly after that, Metallica members Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett each offered their own condolences. Read them all down toward the bottom of this page.

"It is with incredible sorrow that we said farewell to Cliff's dad Ray Burton last week," the band shared in the group statement. "For 38 years, we were lucky enough to have the energy, wisdom and light of Ray in our lives. His eternal youth with his drive, positivity and relentless smile were both incredibly powerful and stirringly honest. From coast to coast and overseas too, Ray's beaming face would regularly greet us, offering warmth and anchor to our travels, and when it came to the entire Metallica family, band, crew and fans, he viewed us all as his own."

The message continued, "That he has passed away leaves an indefinable feeling of sadness and loss, but equally, we know Ray wouldn't want us 'moping around on our darn keisters' for too long. So, in honor of him, and the kind of man he was, we also want to truly celebrate the 94 years of life Ray gave everyone, knowing in certainty that a glint of his light, wisdom and energy will always be with us all wherever we go."

The worldwide Metallica family felt the same way about the elder Burton, who in recent years lent his support to events honoring his son, like Cliff Burton Day, declared in California’s Alameda County. He appeared at the 2017 NAMM convention in Anaheim, California, to salute Cliff alongside the supergroup Metal Allegiance.

The same year, Ray revealed that he’d been quietly donating his son’s share of Metallica royalties to music scholarships for students at Cliff’s alma matter, Castro Valley High School. “I think Cliff probably would have done that with his money, because he was not against education by any means,” he told Ultimate Guitar.

On deck for Metallica is an All Within My Hands "Helping Hands" concert and auction on March 28, followed by a string of world tour dates and U.S. festival appearances. For tickets, head here.

Mr. Ray Burton is a hero of mine
In earthly form, his end of the line
He weathered many a difficult storm
A strong compass
true and gracefully worn
To his last breath, I’ve not met a more positive man
And to his son there was not a more loyal fan
So he leaves the material world to be with his sons and wife
I feel so very blessed to have had him grace my life
In earthly form, his end of the line
Mr. Ray Burton is a hero of mine

May peace be yours.

Love and Respect,


Thank you for lighting up every room you walked into, for inspiring all of us with your positive energy, your perseverance, your effortlessness and for always making everyone feel comfortable in your presence... and of course, thank you for giving the world the gift of Cliff and his unique talents. I’m honored and humbled to have played and stood beside him.

Rest In Peace.


In my 55 years of existing on this earth I've met so many wonderful people, and not so wonderful people.

In recent times, and most definitely since I've been in Metallica, I've been asked who is an inspiration to me and/or who do I aspire to be like, and my reply is, “I want to be like Mr. Ray Burton!” Ray is the father we all want, or need to have; his positive energy, and support for how and what we do is a powerful gift that he blessed us with.

Always smiling, and always telling it like it is; someone to learn from. Ray's love for all styles of music was passion driven, telling me about various big band jazz artists from his youth, sharing his thoughts on how and why these musicians were so special. I'll always remember him telling my son, "You practicing, you playing piano Tye, remember that's very important for your music; Cliff played piano all the time."

My family, the Metallica family, and the world will miss Ray Burton, that goes without saying. Ray was a warrior, and would want us to face life the way he has, with that desire to be the best you can be from the inside out, stay humble, and keep smiling!

We love you, and we will miss you Ray.



Lots of love Ray.
May you finally be with Cliff and Jan.


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