Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Clive Burr

Last night the great Clive Burr joined Cozy Powell on that great drum riser somewhere. Iron Maiden completely changed my life circa 1981 when I picked up the Killers album from the import bin at the Tower Records in Mountain View, California.   The only reason I picked it up was because of the cover art... and then the live band photos on the back cover hooked my friend Rich and I.  We bought copies on the spot.

I was fortunate to have seen Clive twice with Maiden on The Number of the Beast Tour in 1982, the only times he visited The Bay Area with the band.  I won't pontificate on why Maiden were different with him on the drum riser, because all Maiden fans know what Clive brought to Maiden from 1979-82.  The Maiden records that Clive played on are still sacred to me, which is a small testament to his legacy.

Click HERE to relive July 18, 1982,  which many old Bay Area Metalheads refer to as "the day that changed everything".  Thank you, Clive.  Remember Tomorrow..  Yes, I wore a Number of the Beast t-shirt today.

Clive's pages from The Beast On The Road 1982 Tour Program
[From the Umlaut Archives]

Another aspect of Clive Burr and Maiden that I love is how the band did not abandon him even after he was out of the band.  In 2003, after he was stricken with multiple sclerosis and fell on hard times, his old band set up a trust fund for him.  They posted this update on the Iron Maiden website:

Thanks to your support, funds collected after costs now total £235,000!  The Trust has made considered donations which include: 

Clive Burr, home, health, life quality and the future: Due to his illness, Clive was unable to keep up the payments on his house and was in danger of losing it and becoming homeless. The Trust made a loan of £60,000, which solved Clive's immediate accommodation worries. 

Clive is currently involved in a special treatment programme with a specialised Professor in Belgium and has to travel there for treatment and tests. The Trust donated £9,000 to help cover these expenses, and to sponsor a much-needed short holiday. Clive also received £3,500 towards specialised equipment to improve the quality of his life. This included a special bed, a computer (to help link Clive with the outside world) and a DVD player (to play 'Rock in Rio' and 'Classic Albums - The Making of The Number Of The Beast').

Looking ahead - The Trust is making regular payments to help with Clive's living expenses, and will prioritise the need to help with the cost of medical treatment in the future.

How amazing is that?!  Is this day and age when bands and their former members constantly tear each other apart on the Internets, Maiden's attitude and outright affection for their former band brother is stunning and inspiring.  The official band statements in response to Clive's death are equally great:

Steve Harris said “This is terribly sad news. Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time."

Bruce Dickinson adds “I first met Clive when he was leaving Samson and joining Iron Maiden. He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his M.S., Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence. This is a terribly sad day and all our thoughts are with Mimi and the family”

Anyway, this is meant as my small tribute to Clive Burr, a musician who greatly influenced me in my Salad Days.  Rest in Peace.  I will also restate how Iron Maiden are still one of my all-time favorite bands for a myriad of reasons... not the least of which is because they've always been a band who have managed to keep their mystic and credibility intact.

Up The Irons Forever.