Former Motörhead guitarist Michael 'Würzel' Burston dead at age 61

Burston (far right) with Motörhead in 1987
Burston (far right) with Motörhead in 1987 (Image credit: Fabio Nosotti/CORBIS)

Former Motörhead guitarist Michael 'Würzel' Burston passed away yesterday, 9 July, at the age of 61. Several reports suggest that Burston died from ventricular fibrillation, which was triggered by cardiomyopathy.

The news was first reported on the Facebook page of Tim Butcher, the longtime bass tech forMotörhead leader Lemmy Kilmister. "RIP Würzel," Butcher wrote, adding, "Great guitarist and a complete gent... we will miss you..."

Prior to Motörhead, Burston served as a corporal in the British Army. He also played in the bands Bastard and Warfare. He performed with Motörhead from 1984 to 1995, appearing on the albums No Remorse, Orgasmatron, Rock 'N' Roll, March Ör Die, Bastards and Sacrifice.

Burston had played in several bands since parting ways with Motörhead. His most recent group, Leader Of Down, headlined the UK fundraiser 'Never Mind The Bullocks' in support of Midlands Air Ambulance last month.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.