On 12th March 2013, the world of hard rock lost one of the UK’s best-loved drummers, when Clive Burr lost a long fight against multiple sclerosis. Although he recorded with Samson, Trust and Alcatrazz, it will be for his four year stint with Iron Maiden between 1979-82 Burr will be most fondly remembered – not least of all at Real Gone.
I first became a fan of Iron Maiden at the beginning of 1982, just prior to the release of their third album, million-seller ‘Number of the Beast’. That album arguably become the best known album associated with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and later considered a benchmark of metal in general. I still hold vivid memories of buying the vinyl LP from my local branch of Woolworths that year and almost wore out its grooves over the years which immediately followed, later replacing my LP with a cassette, then replacing that cassette with another vinyl LP… before eventually settling for a remastered CD sometime in the late 90s. ‘Number of the Beast’ is one of those records which never seems to get old; truly an album that no self-respecting rock fan should be without.
Providing the backbone of the big riffs and simple choruses of the early Maiden, Clive Burr’s drum parts were often powerful without being flashy. You only have to hear the booming tones during the intro of ‘The Prisoner’, or the more complex rhythms cutting through ‘Gangland’ to understand what a solid drummer he was. While his input on the first two Maiden records was solid, his work on ‘Number of the Beast’ was a cut above. Below, Real Gone remembers Clive with some timeless video footage.