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The memorial stone placed near the Crash site on the 20th anniversary of Cliff's Death.


James Hetfield spoke to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter about the "memorial day" that was held Sept. 30, 2006 for late bassist Cliff Burton at the at Gyllene Rasten restaurant/bar in Ljungby, Dörarp, Sweden. It was on September 27, 1986 — 20 years ago — that Burton died in a tragic bus accident in Sweden, just over the road from where Gyllene Rasten is located. A memorial stone was placed at the site in memory of Cliff.

On performing "Orion" live this past summer:

Hetfield: "That was the highlight of the set for me. It sums up Cliff and I cried every time I played it, but it was good tears. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the fact that I had the opportunity to play in the same band as Cliff and learn things from him."

On the importance of Cliff, the musical genius:

Hetfield: "We never would have written guitar harmonies or instrumentals or songs with very intricate melodies and orchestrations without Cliff. We wouldn't be where we are today."

When the new memorial stone in Sweden is described to James Hetfield, he is stunned and very happy.

Hetfield: "Wow. That really shows the kind of commitment and love our fans have for our music and the people behind it. Cliff is one of the icons that won't be forgotten. Apparently some fans who are very dedicated have taken the time and put in the effort to create something as timeless as a memorial stone to remind people about Cliff. It's really amazing."