(Anaesthesia) Pulling Teeth 


Today marks the 30th anniversary of Cliff Burton’s tragic death when Metallica’s tour bus overturned on the road close to Ljungby, Sweden, when they were on the way to catch a ferry towards Copenhagen. The force of the overturning bus ended up throwing him through a window and the coach eventually landed on him.   

They were touring the Master of Puppets album at the time and on the crest of hitting the big time with one of thrash metals most influential releases. 

It has always been stated that Cliff had the more diverse musical tastes within the group and it’s often acknowledged that it was he who introduced the others to bands like the Misfits. 

At such a tender age of 24 and with so much talent in those fingerless gloved hands, it would have been interesting to see what path the band would have ventured down in the intervening three decades. I still think we would have had Puppets follow up …And Justice For All, he received a posthumous credit on To Live Is To Die. Would we have had Enter Sandman – breaking the band to a global audience? What about St Anger, Reload and Load? By all accounts the symphonic elements of what became S&M would have probably surfaced at some point in time. 

Tonight the band are playing a show in New York City. Coincidence it happens to be on this date or just the way it’s fallen? The atmosphere around East 11th Street and within the intimate Webster Hall will be electric and one of those shows to go into ‘Tallica folklore. 

Originally found on the Kill ‘Em All debut release, this live version of (Anaesthesia) Pulling Teeth was recorded at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in 1985 and can be found on the Cliff ‘Em All video – a compilation of early era Metallica live tracks with the emphasis on Cliff. 

Raise a glass to a fallen icon.

Rest in peace Cliff. 

Never forgotten. 


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