‘Cliff Burton Day’ Commemorated in Late Metallica Bassist’s Hometown
News of the honor comes courtesy of Metallica's Twitter account, which shared the official proclamation on Feb. 6. "IT’S OFFICIAL!" wrote the band. "The Board of Supervisors from Alameda County has just proclaimed February 10, 2018, which would have been Cliff’s 56th birthday, 'Cliff Burton Day.' Thanks to all of the fans who got behind this initiative. We love that he remains so revered."
The petition, which was launched a month ago and has attracted more than 5,700 signatures as of this writing, was the brainchild of Burton fan Robert Souza, who addressed the municipal advisory council late last month to explain his reasons for wanting an official day in Burton's honor. As the local ABC affiliate notes, Burton remains a presence in his Bay Area hometown of Castro Valley, Calif.; in fact, his bass teacher, Steve Doherty, still offers lessons at a local shop.
"He always came prepared to his lesson. Terrific student that way. Especially for somebody that young," Doherty told the network. "When people say, 'Oh gosh, you taught Cliff Burton,' it's always with mixed emotions for me because he had such a short life."
Burton's Castro Valley roots are recounted in detail in the proclamation, the full text of which you can look over online, and which concludes with a mention of his tragic death in 1986 — "just hours after performing classical guitar in place of the bass for our nation’s Star Spangled Banner to a sold out audience in Stockholm, Sweden" — and notes that "Cliff Burton Day" is being declared in an attempt to honor his "life and legacy."
It's an effort that's already been publicly appreciated by Burton's family, which shared its own post on Facebook after the proclamation was issued. "Thank you to Robert Souza for starting this petition and following it through to the end," it reads. "Thank you to all of the fans from the Bay Area and around the world who voted. We are honored."