MOTÖRHEAD – “Lemmy Gave Würzel His Name In The Back Of A Taxi”

July 11th, 2011
by EvilG

On July 9th former MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Michael “Würzel” Burston sadly passed away in the UK. He was aged 61. The band has since issued a statement on the passing of former bandmate. A spokesperson for the band told RockAAA their thoughts were with their former guitarists family at this difficult time:

“It was actually Lemmy who gave Würzel his name in the back of a taxi, as he thought he looked like the TV character Worzel Gummidge because of his wild hair.”

The spokesperson went on to explain Würzel’s wife had said he had been unwell for some time with heart trouble, which left him struggling to climb the stairs at home.

As a tribute to their fallen friend, who they described as one of the nicest men, the band requested Rock Radio play ‘Killed By Death’ in tribute, as it was a track co-written by Lemmy and Würzel during a taxi journey from the flat they were sharing at the time and the Brittania Studios.

According to Wikipedia, before joining Motörhead 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 Motörhead audition, and both were taken on. Würzel eventually left the band in 1995 and can be heard on the following albums:

No Remorse (1984)
Orgasmatron (1986)
Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987)
Nö Sleep at All (1988)
The Birthday Party (1990)
1916 (1991)
March ör Die (1992)
Bastards (1993)
Sacrifice (1995)

More recently, Würzel had launched a new band called LEADER OF THE DOWN, who headlined the main stage at Never Mind The Bullocks!, a fundraising music festival in aid of Midlands Air Ambulance in late June.

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