Rock Candy

CLEVELAND - APRIL 04: Ray Burton (C), father of deceased Cliff Burton, speaks while Kirk Hammett (R) and Jason Newsted onstage during the 24th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Hall on April 4, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Metallica‘s late founding bassist Cliff Burton has apparently been doing some good from the great beyond.

In a new interview with the podcast Alphabetallica, Burton’s father Ray Burton revealed that the bassist’s family has quietly been donating his continuing royalties to scholarships for music students at Castro Valley High School in the San Francisco Bay Area, which Burton attended.

Ray Burton said that, “The kids who won it, they invariably write and thank me for. And I think Cliff probably would have done that with his money, because he was not against education by any means. He liked it very much.”

Ray Burton also said that despite Metallica’s burgeoning success, his son “was quite a humble person. He just didn’t like the strutting types that so much of rock ‘n’ roll musicians get to be when they get popular. He just liked to do his wild playing of heavy metal music. He never changed.”

Burton played on Metallica’s first three albums before being killed at the age of 24 when Metallica’s tour bus crashed on September 27, 1986 in Sweden. Burton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Metallica in 2009.


Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.