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Former Motörhead Guitarist Michael "Würzel" Burston Dead at 61

Former Motörhead guitarist Michael "Würzel" Burston passed away yesterday, July 9, at the age of 61. Early reports suggest Burston died from ventricular fibrillation, which was triggered by cardiomyopathy.

The news was first reported on the Facebook page of Tim Butcher, longtime bass tech for Lemmy Kilmister. Butcher called Buston a "great guitarist" and a "complete gent." "We will miss you," he added.

Burston played with Motörhead from 1984 to 1995, his discography with the band including No Remorse, Orgasmatron, Rock 'n' Roll, March or Die, Bastards and Sacrifice.

Before joining Motörhead, Burston played in both Bastard and Warfare. His post-Motörhead appearances included Splodgenessabounds, WVKEAF and Disgust. Burston also released an ambient, improvisational album in 1998 titled Chill Out or Die.

Prior to his stint in Motörhead, Burston served as a corporal in the British Army’s 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment.

Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee recently spoke to Sweden's Expressen newspaper about Würzel's passing, stating: "He wrote damn good Motörhead riffs. I remember that I missed that when he was not there. I missed the simple classic Motörhead riffs. They were never written after that. They left with him."

"He was wonderful, he was really funny," he continued." There was a lot of rock and roll in the old man."

During Motörhead's main stage set at Sonisphere festival on Sunday, July 10, the band said: "We'd like to dedicate this set and our lives to Würzel."

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Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.