Ian, Burton, Hammett – The Three Musketeers

Scott Ian posted a cool story of his friendship with the late Cliff Burton on his blog, and it’s a pretty awesome read. I just couldn’t help myself and had to do that photo above. Why? Read below…

Love how fat Kirk looks in that photo, by the way.

Anyway, here is the (somewhat) short version of the story. Make sure to read the full thing when you have the chance:

I knew Cliff for three years and in those three years became good friends with him and Kirk, bonds that have lasted and stood the test of time. We were the three musketeers when we were together and we got to spend a lot of time together back in those days.

I was in London in March of 1984 doing promo for our first album Fistful Of Metal. Metallica was also in London because they were supposed to do a tour with The Rods and Exciter in the UK but the tour was cancelled. […] One day Cliff and I were going to a store so Cliff could buy a Walkman. We were in the tube station and two policemen approached us and asked us if we had drugs. We said no, big surprise. Truth is, we didn’t. They kept telling us that we should just tell them what we have and things would be easier for us. We kept telling them that we didn’t have anything. I guess they didn’t believe us being the long haired freaks that we were because they arrested us and took us to the police station. […]

At some point I heard Cliff’s voice and I started banging on the door screaming at them to tell me what was going on. A cop opened the window in the door and told me “they were taking my mate back to the flat so they could search it.” Apparently they had found Cliff’s cold medicine pills in his coat and they assumed it was illegal drugs. […]

So now they were taking him back to the apartment and I got really nervous because I knew he had weed back there. If they found the weed we were fucked. All I could think of was that movie Midnight Express where the guy gets busted in Turkey for smuggling and sent to Turkish prison and nobody ever sees him for years […]

It’s easy to get irrational when you’ve never been arrested for anything and you’re sitting in a cold concrete cell in a foreign country in your underwear for five hours with no clue as to what is going on. Another two hours or so passed and the cell door opened and a cop was handing me my clothes and telling me I was to go to the Captain’s office. […] To my surprise, Cliff was already there lounging in a chair with a huge Cheshire cat grin. I figured we were OK but I still had no idea what happened and how they didn’t find the weed back at the flat. The Captain started to apologize to us and tell us how “sorry he was for the mistake and us being falsely accused and that the cold medicine really was cold medicine etc etc.” I freaked. […]

As soon as we were outside I asked Cliff what the hell happened back at the flat. He told me that they (Cliff and six cops) walked into the flat and Kirk was in the living room playing guitar. The cops proceeded to search the flat for an hour to no avail. They couldn’t find anything. I asked Cliff where the weed was hidden, like he had some super secret hidey hole to stash his shit. He started laughing and asked me where would be the first place I would look if I was a cop searching a flat looking for drugs. I told him I would look under the mattress of his bed.


The weed was under his mattress and the cops never looked there!! I couldn’t believe it. The Metal Gods were looking down on Cliff and I that day.

Read full story here.

Wait, is he saying what I think he’s saying? Did these guys commit a felony?

Holy shit, someone should call the cops! I have a feeling the inmates will REALLY love Kirk.

Make the jump for a photo of Scott and Cliff from that period.

Photo credit: Scott-Ian.com

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