Sunday, July 10, 2011


Michael Burston "Wurzel"
Former Motorhead guitarist Wurzel has died of heart failure at the age of 61.

Wurzel, real name Michael Burston, joined Lemmy’s outfit in 1984 and appeared on nine albums before leaving in 1995. He got his nickname while serving in the British Army as a corporal, when colleagues compared his appearance and character to kids’ TV scarecrow Worzel Gummidge.

He first appeared with the band on No Remorse in 1984, followed by Orgasmatron, Rock’n'Roll, No Sleep At All, The Birthday Party, 1916, March or Die, Bastards then finally Sacrifice in 1995. When he arrived with fellow recruit Phil Campbell he extended Motorhead’s lineup to four members. Their first public appearance together was on the cult alternative sitcom The Young Ones. After his departure Campbell remained, and with drummer Mikkey Dee makes up the three-piece outfit who have been together since.

Frontman Lemmy’s bass tech Tim Butcher says: “RIP Wurzel, a great guitarist and a complete gent. We will miss you. We’ll have a drink for him.” Wurzel was suffering from cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle which often leads to the organ’s failure. He was recording an album with his new band Leader of Down before his death.

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