According to a posting on the Facebook page of Tim Butcher, MOTÖRHEAD leader Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister‘s longtime bass tech and “right-hand man,” former MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Michael “Würzel” Burston died earlier today (Saturday, July 9). He was 61 years old.

Before joining MOTÖRHEAD in 1984, Burston had been a corporal in the Army, serving in Germany and Ireland with the 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment, and had played in the bands BASTARD and WARFARE. Joining another relatively unknown guitarist, Phil Campbell, they played together at a MOTÖRHEAD audition, and both were taken on.

Burston acquired the nickname Würzel while in the Army, being compared to the character Worzel Gummidge due to his scarecrow-style hair and bumpkin-like manner. Lemmy reportedly demanded that Würzel add an umlaut to the “U” in his name, for “heavy metal effect.”

Würzel can be heard on the following MOTÖRHEAD albums:

* No Remorse (1984)
* Orgasmatron (1986)
* Rock ‘n’ Roll (1987)
* Nö Sleep at All (1988)
* The Birthday Party (1990)
* 1916 (1991)
* March ör Die (1992)
* Bastards (1993)
* Sacrifice (1995)

Würzel left MOTÖRHEAD in 1995.

For the past couple of years, Burston has played with a new band called LEADER OF DOWN, which last month headlined the main stage at the U.K. fundraising music festival “Never Mind The Bullocks” in aid of Midlands Air Ambulance.

Würzel joined MOTÖRHEAD on stage on November 28, 2009 at the Hammersmith Apollo to perform the band’s classic song “Ace Of Spades”. Video footage of his appearance can be seen below.

MetalConcerts.net conducted an interview with THE IRON MAIDENS, the world’s only female tribute to the legendary band IRON MAIDEN, when the group performed at Estúdio Emme in São Paulo, Brazil on June 18. You can now watch the chat below.

Formed in 2001, these five women — Kirsten “Bruce Chickinson” Rosenberg, Linda “Nikki McBURRain” McDonald, Wanda “Steph Harris” Ortiz, Elizabeth “Devina Murray” Schall and Courtney “Adriana Smith” Cox — comprise excellent musicianship with an elaborate stage show with effects and appearances from IRON MAIDEN mascot, “Eddie”, and other theatrical characters that have gained the band national and international recognition. This female musical force has the energy and chemistry reminiscent of IRON MAIDEN itself.

THE IRON MAIDENS are:

* Kirsten Rosenberg (a.k.a. Bruce Chickinson) – Lead Vocals
* Linda McDonald (a.k.a. Nikki McBurrain) – Drums
* Wanda Ortiz (a.k.a. Steph Harris) – Bass
* Courtney Cox (a.k.a. Adriana Smith) – Guitar
* Heather Baker (a.k.a. Dee Murray) – Guitar

For more information, visit www.theironmaidens.com.

Interview:

DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott‘s father, who had been ill for a number of weeks, passed away in a U.K. hospital.Commented DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen: “Sending my condolences to Joe and his mum over the sad loss of his dad Joe, Sr. I have great memories of Joe‘s dad and we’re all here to support Joe through a rough time. Thank you everyone for your thoughts for his family.”

The following DEF LEPPARD shows with HEART have been postponed and are being rescheduled:

Jul. 09 – Bristol, VA – Jiffy Lube Live
Jul. 10 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Jul. 12 – Wantagh, NY – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Jul. 13 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
Jul. 15 – Tinley Park, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

Rescheduled dates so far:

Jul. 27 – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH
Jul. 28 – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, IL

DEF LEPPARD‘s new album, “Mirror Ball”, sold around 20,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 16 on The Billboard 200 chart.

“Mirror Ball” is available exclusively at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations in the United States and Canada. The album includes a 50-minute DVD that contains live performances and intimate backstage footage of the band captured on the road. A special limited vinyl edition is also
available. “Mirror Ball”is also available online, marking the first time the band’s music was officially available for digital purchase.

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