Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett revealed what their late bassist Cliff Burton did after he had learned that Rush icon Geddy Lee was watching one of their performances during a 90-minute Q&A conversation with So What!.
Metallica released their second studio album entitled ‘Ride the Lightning’ on July 27, 1984, and Burton’s performance drew great attention, especially in this album. Then the band began their Ride The Lightning Tour on January 10, 1985, in Scotia, and it ended on December 31, 1985, in San Francisco as a part of promoting the album.
In their tour, Metallica performed a concert in Toronto, on January 19, 1985, and the biggest surprise for them was Geddy Lee’s decision to attend the show. Therefore as the person who had cited Geddy Lee, Geezer Butler, Stanley Clarke, Lemmy Kilmister, and Phil Lynott as his greatest influences, Cliff Burton was very shocked and nervous.
Kirk Hammett recalled Burton’s reaction saying that he ‘freaked out’ and started smoking after he found out Lee was there to listen to them. The guitarist said he was also very happy about that and the same thing happened when Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler came to one of their shows.
Hammett recalled these times saying:
“Geddy Lee showed up at one of our shows on the Ride The Lightning Tour. We played Toronto and all of a sudden we got a message backstage that Geddy Lee was in the audience. And Cliff Burton just freaked out. He started pacing, he started smoking pot, and he was, like, ‘Oh my God! Geddy! Geddy Lee!’
He could not settle down; he was so nervous and just happy at the same time that Geddy Lee was there. Then Ross tells him that Geezer Butler is out there one night. The same thing — he starts pacing around, super nervous, grabs a beer.”
You can watch the interview below.