Original Metallica bassist Ron McGovney spoke in an interview wit Talk Is Jericho and revealed the unheard story about how Cliff Burton join Metallica. He said:
“I wanna say sometime in the fall of 1982. His band Trauma came to play at the Troubadour [club]. Brian Slagel from Metal Blade had invited us to go watch them. So we were all sitting there watching them. And I’m like ‘Well, that kind of music’s not my kind of thing.’
It was me and James and Lars, and all of the sudden Cliff starts going into this solo. And they’re just like looking at him and their eyes are wide open. And I’m looking at them and they’re looking at him. And I’m like ‘This is the guy, this is it.’
So I kind of knew right at that point. Like ‘Yeah, this is the guy that they’re gonna go after, I can feel it.’ I could tell. I mean, he was just a thrashing headbanging crazy awesome bass player.”
I thought he was awesome too. He’s doing stuff that I could never do. So as soon as I saw their reaction I kind of knew. I played several gigs after that with them. And they never actually pulled me ‘Hey, we wanna get this guy.’ I kind of heard through the grapevine. But I already knew who it was gonna be.
And I remember one time playing in San Francisco and Cliff was there watching us. And he’s standing out there in the rain and I ask him ‘Hey man, do you wanna ride?’ Because he was soaking wet. And like ‘No, I’m cool.’ I was gonna give him a ride back to wherever he wanted to go. But I knew he was gonna be the guy. But that was never my role to be the long-term bass player.”
Click here to entire interview.