31 years ago, Metallica suffered the tragic loss of bassist Cliff Burton. It was a huge moment for them as a band and family. Since then, the beneficiary of Cliff’s royalties is his father, Ray.
At 92-years old, Ray Burton has already attended a handful of Metallica shows on the current Worldwired Tour, spending time taking in his son’s friends on stage as well as stopping to take pictures with fans. He stood in for Cliff when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, and appeared in a promotional video for a Metallica photo-book just last year.
Ray Burton also made an appearance on a Metallica podcast called Alphabetallica – announcing that his family had decided Cliff’s royalty cheques belong in the hands of future musicians. They’ve been donating the money to music scholarships, specifically at Cliff’s Castro Valley High School. According to Ray, his son thought school was cool – and we think Ray is pretty cool too.