Cliff Burton Museum to Open May 14th
It’s been nearly thirty-six years since Metallica’s fateful bus accident that ended Cliff Burton’s life in Sweden. A memorial stone was placed at Dörarp near the site of the crash back in 2006, but now a full museum is opening to celebrate the life and legacy of the bass legend.
The Cliff Burton Museum is set to open in Ljungby, Sweden just 12 miles south of where the bassist passed away at the age of 24. While Burton’s memorial stone was funded by fans, the new museum was built with grant support and funds from Sweden’s National Heritage Board and other local municipalities.
Anna-Lena Ljungberg of the museum’s board gave us insight into what visitors can expect.
“We primarily want to honor Cliff Burton who died so tragically in the middle of his work and talk about who he was as a person and a musician,” she tells us. “Our second main purpose is to create a meeting place for all those who seek the memorial site/place in the small community Dörarp. You could say that we want to continue the fine work that the fans started when they started raising funds to make Cliff’s memorial stone. Pictures, albums, posters, tickets, and some signed will be in the museum. Also, the museum will feature stories and quotes. It will be a living museum where some items will be added as we go along.”
Another exhibit will include a small stage that will recreate Burton’s final gig in Solna, complete with replica instruments that Metallica used. The bassist’s famous solo “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth” will play as you stand in front of it. The museum’s board is also curating an exhibit on the bus accident.
“We have interviews and photos with the first photographer on-site Lennart Vennberg who photographed for the newspaper Expressen. We have a story from the staff who worked at Hotel Terraza where the band and others took in after the accident. This summer, we will record a film with representatives from all the different actors who participated in the rescue work, where everyone tells about what they did and so on.”
The Cliff Burton Museum will have an opening ceremony on May 14th at 3pm local time. Author and Bass Player Magazine editor Joel McIver will be on hand to speak about Burton and his legacy. McIver is a well of knowledge on Burton, and his 2009 biography To Live Is to Die: The Life and Death of Metallica’s Cliff Burton is quintessential reading on the bassist.
“Having spent years researching the details of Cliff’s life and work, it’s always seemed fitting to me that his premature death should be memorialized in some appropriate way in Sweden,” he states. “For that reason I’ve always admired the members of Metallica’s Swedish fan club, who arranged the installation of the headstone at the crash site at their own cost. The opening of the Cliff Burton Museum near that site is a significant gesture on the part of the local municipality and the Swedish government department who helped to fund it. Cliff died needlessly and in a manner that has still not been fully understood after almost four decades: the Museum will be an important epitaph to his memory.”
The Cliff Burton Museum will be located at Motell Lagan, Lagavägen 2, 341 50 Lagan, Sweden. Be sure to follow their Instagram page for updates.