To Live is to Die: The Life and Death of "Metallica"'s Cliff Burton Paperback – 1 May 2009
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About the Author
Joel McIver writes for Total Guitar, Metal Hammer and many other music magazines and is the author of 12 books to date. The best-known of these is Justice For All: The Truth About Metallica (2004), which has sold over 30,000 copies in eight languages. He makes regular appearances on radio and TV.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book starts with a foreword by the band's lead guitarist Kirk Hammett; then there's a picture section for Cliff Burton; a locations map of San Francisco and the surrounding areas; an introduction from Joel McIver; then there are fifteen chapters about the bass guitarist, ranging from his birth (10th February 1962) and childhood, to his music career (particularly as the bass guitarist for Metallica) which was tragically cut short when he was killed in a bus accident in Sweden on the 27th of September 1986 at the age of 24 years; the aftermath of Cliff's death; Metallica from 1986 to 2009 (the year this book was published; and his legacy. There are also a couple more short chapters of "In Others' Words" from other musicians including Alex Webster, the bass guitarist for the American death metal band Cannibal Corpse; a "who's who" list of people linked with the bass guitarist including his parents Jan and Ray Burton; a musical terms section; a Cliff Burton discography including the three Metallica albums he was involved in (Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets); and the index and acknowledgements sections.
I read this book with great pleasure as I have been a fan of Metallica since 2004.Read more ›
This book has quite a lot of interesting material, as the author has conducted new interviews with the likes of Harald Oimoen, Fred Cotton, Brian Slagel and John Marshall (=friends/'insiders'), producer Flemming Rasmussen, fellow bass player Dave Ellefson and most importantly, Burton's girlfriend at the time of his death, Corinne Lynn. McIver has also interviewed Metallica's Kirk Hammett who provided the foreword as well. So no question that there are many fascinating insights into Cliff Burton's character and musicianship. Not surprisingly, no one seems to have anything bad to say about him which makes the cynic in me quip, "c'mon, he must have had at least some weaknesses!" But hey, it isn't hard to believe that he was one of the good guys.
One of the positive things about "To Live Is To Die" when compared with McIver's Metallica biography ("And Justice For All - The Truth About Metallica") is that here he keeps his opinions (i.e. his 'truths') more to himself which shows that he has grown as a writer/person(?). So luckily, this book doesn't have that 'a disappointed fan whining' thing that would not have suited it at all. It has a more philosophical approach, shall we say.
Sadly, though, there are some negative aspects as well. A lot of the quotes - inevitably - are all too familiar at least to those who have read the author's Metallica book, and unfortunately the tautology, if you will, doesn't stop there; simply too much repetition in this book! Yes, there is no doubt that Burton taught Hetfield (and Ulrich) music theory, but does it have to be repeated like 10 times? (I'm glad, however, that this time McIver gives credit to James and Lars for being the primary songwriters - Cliff's big influence notwithstanding).Read more ›
In short - a very revealing, interesting and enjoyable read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've read it 3 times so far..at last a book for Cliff, you all know what a fine musician and a person he was!!
R.I.P. Cliff, we miss you!
A must have for Metallica fans. The real ones. Back from the 80`s!
This gentleman, Cliff Burton, was, and still is, the base behind almost all Metallica music and... Read more
Joel McIver knows how to put the words after each other. Deep, focused work throughout Cliff Burton's life and his affect on Metallica. Read morePublished on 8 Dec. 2010 by Jarno
Great book - a must for all fans of metal and Metallica in particular - well researched. Good notes on how to achieve the level of virtuosity that Cliff achieved.Published on 31 Dec. 2009 by A. D. Gilroy