Former Iron Maiden Drummer Clive Burr Passes Away At 56, Fans And Musicians React

After years of fighting MS, the drummer has passed away in his sleep aged 56.

Ultimate Guitar

Former drummer of heavy metal greats Iron Maiden, Clive Burr, has passed away three days ago after years of fighting multiple sclerosis. As a member of one of the group's earlier lineups, Burr was featured on the first three Maiden albums - the self-title debut, 1980's "Killers" and the breakthrough release "The Number Of The Beast" from 1982.

"We are deeply saddened to report that Clive Burr passed away last night. He had suffered poor health for many years after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and died peacefully in his sleep at home," the band said in a statement via official website.

"This is terribly sad news. Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time," stated the bassist Steve Harris.

Frontman Bruce Dickinson added that Burr "was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his M.S., Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence."

The unfortunate news immediately reached all parts of the globe, saddening both the fans and musicians, who shared their reactions and condolences.

Slash: "Really sad news; RIP Clive Burr. Played on my fav Iron Maiden records."

Dave Lombardo (Slayer): "Sadness overcame my morning when I heard this news. His style was inspiring and the albums he recorded with Iron Maiden are touchstones of my music education. He played with a particular energy which bought edge and excitement to the Iron Maiden classics. I never got to meet him, but I wish did. The best thing for me to do right now is listen to some classic Iron Maiden. Up the irons!"

David Ellefson (Megadeth): "I was so saddened to hear of Clive Burr passing away today. He was one of my all-time favorite metal drummers. I'm thankful for his music and contributions. My condolences..."

Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine): "RIP Clive Burr, original Iron Maiden drummer, who rocked those first 3 records HARD."

Dave McClain (Machine Head): "Very sad news. One of my favorite drummers and a huge influence on me as a young drummer. To me, he brought punk rock drumming into heavy metal. I can remember walking into the Hemisphere Arena in San Antonio to see Iron Maiden and seeing Clive's white kit on stage. I about crapped my pants! I just stood there in awe looking at the actual kit that I had been staring at on the back of the 'Killers' album cover for the whole summer. I was a happy kid! He will always be an inspiration to my drumming. One of my go-to guys when I'm trying to find different drum fills and beats, or I'll ask myself, 'What would Clive do?'"

Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Forbidden): "I'm truly saddened to hear of Clive Burr's passing. His drumming has had and still has a strong influence on my playing style. I bummed I never go to meet him and thank him in person for his musical gifts. God speed, Clive!"

Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest): "Not a prisoner, I'm a free man, And my blood is my own now, Don't care where the past was , I know where I'm going"

Jeff Waters (Annihilator): "RIP, Clive. One of the best, most original and most underrated drummers ever. His style was unique... his performances on those first three Maiden records influenced the drumming I've been writing for Annihilator all these years and he had me air-drumming my whole metal life... Only Lombardo was air-drummed more by me! Clive was #2 :) I met him once and was a class act. This is a loss of a true legend and innovator. Time to crank up 'The Prisoner.'"

Accept: "R.I.P. Clive Burr. He will be truly missed....he left us with some amazing drumming. Loved his style and sound."

Burr became the member of Iron Maiden in 1979 and was fired three years later during "The Beast On The Road" tour to be replaced by the group's current drummer Nicko McBrain. He formed the Clive Aid charity foundation in 2004, raising awareness and funds for various cancer and MS programs through organizing concert events.

46 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sheep Shagger
    I'm surprised it took so long for UG to post this... RIP Clive. For a man with such a short career, you have left behind a huge legacy. You were an important ingredient to Iron Maiden's sound on their first three albums.
    True, but the sentiment's still there. Hallowed be thy name.
    Yeah i know its not quite right is it?I found out two days ago and im not even a maiden fan.RIP.
    link no1
    UG what the hell? People like Amy Winehouse get a special news update on a Saturday/Sunday (for those unware, the days UG posts no news) but Clive from one of the most influential metal bands has to wait 3 days during the week? RIP Clive and shame on you UG.
    wow stop crying. it's irrelevant. if you rely on ug's terrible news section to find out about things then you should really go check out the rest of the internet. anyway, rip. good drummer, good guy, and those first three maiden albums got me into them.
    Great drummer on so many levels. His playing and energy contributed so much to the raw and straightforward sound on Maiden's first albums, and to this day I'm still amazed by his speed and technique on tracks like Run to the Hills and Phantom of the Opera. Rest in peace.
    What really amazes me is that he spent a really short time in the band, and played on 3 metal classics, he was just awesome
    RIP Clive Burr. Those drums at the beginning of the "The Prisoner"... CLASSIC! Those first three Maiden albums wouldn't have sounded so great if it weren't for you. Up The Irons!!!
    Trivia fact: Clive actually wanted a drum intro to The Prisoner that was MUCH busier than what it became...Steve insisted it be something simple and sat down at the kit to try and play what he wanted it to sound like, except he'd never played drums. When Clive played what Steve had just "played", Steve loved it and that's what came to be the drum intro on The Prisoner. RIP Clive, I had a feeling he might be passing away this year due to recent reports on his health, but it's just as sad...Clive was a huge part of the first 3 Maiden albums, so much more than most people give him credit for. Just as Nicko has been the perfect fit since POM, Clive was the perfect fit for the first 3 albums. He'll be missed greatly
    Wasn't that the story behind the intro of Where Eagles Dare, when Nicko was already in Maiden?
    Yeah, I saw your best friends mother working on the internet as one of those X-Rated webcam porn sites. Screw this guy ^.
    Come on UG. Didn't you use the searchbar before making this thread? It's been done already. RIP, Clive. Your drumming on NotB is ****ing fantastic.
    This is one my favorite performances of Burr, the reason I love Iron Maiden. RIP Burr, You won't be forgotten.
    Blacken Light
    I was VERY saddened to hear of Clive Burr's passing. His power, speed, timing an Unique style made him truly one of the best Metal Drummers ever. He Influenced by Brother on Drums (R.I.P.) and inspired many, many Drummers. On another note, it is DISGRACEFUL that UG took 3 days to post this story. I would like everyone to look back at the stories of the last 3 days on UG and tell me if they were more Important than the passing of Clive Burr. SHAME on you UG
    still can't beat run to the hills on expert drums on rock band, clive was one hell of a drummer.
    While I agree on the last part, a dumbed down video game variation of playing a real instrument doesn't do justice to his drumming work.
    Phenomenal drummer, his pace and power really make those early Maiden records stand out. RIP.
    He died 3 days ago and you only post it now? The guy was a legend, not much musicians can say they've released so many classic albums in such a short period in a band.
    Clive was one of my biggest inspirations when I took up drumming. I would listen to Number of the Beast on repeat and just focus on the awesome power of his drumming. Still an all time favorite, I for one will truly miss him. R.I.P.
    Heaven is amassing quite a metal lineup - Rhoads, Burton, Dimebag, Dio and now Clive - what a band that would be!
    Clive was an influence on one of the greatest bands who has ever picked up an instrument and decided "you know what? I'm going to play in a rock n roll band" Even though he played with Maiden for a short time, it's hard to believe he took on a few world tours and played on not one but THREE classic albums which are even today influencing young bands to pick up a guitar, bass,drums or vocals and decide. I want to do this. When I was a young kid and hearing Maidens first album for the first time ( I was 13/14) one of the many things that hit me was his playing on Running Free, Prowler and the title track Iron Maiden. That moment when I thought wow, I'm going to pick up an instrument (or many as it turned out) was defined by when I heard the beating toms on Running Free in the intro. I had to play the track four times because I thought there was some trickery going on with the deep and boomy sounds that was emerging from my stereo. RIP Clive. Your influence on me as a musician is timeless.
    Well.. youve got to be quick or be dead
    I was actually hoping for a "no down-voting article" this time... guess you proved me wrong... a-hole...
    Kill yourself.
    A stupid thing to say at the best of times, and tactless here, regardless of the original comment to which you replied. RIP Clive. Widely underrated and under-appreciated, never forgotten.
    when there is a top 20 metal songs list hollowed be thy name is # 1 but his death does not even make the headline?
    aww bummer, rip clive his grooves are etched in my soul forever! (ie dugadugadugdugadun run to thehilsssss bumbunaba! bumbunaba! runfor your livesssss!!!!!) and the begining bass drum part of course too lets not forget