Clive Burr died at the age of 56 in his sleep on March 12th, triggering a deluge of tributes, kind words and obituaries in honour of him, and the impact he had on Iron Maiden – one of the most important rock bands of all time.
“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,’ said Steve Harris, the band’s founder and bass player,” Iron Maiden say in a statement. “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.” Burr was born in East Ham, London, and was brought up in Manor Park in the capital’s East End. At the height of his fame, though, he was asked to leave the band, and no one knew why. One purported reason was his supposed ‘overindulgence’ in the rock lifestyle; a claim he vehemently denied. “I was too upset to feel angry about it,” he recalled. “We were like schoolkids [on tour] in America. We’d never been there before and it opened our eyes. There was a lot of parties, and girls were throwing themselves at us. We’d never experienced anything like it."
Iron Maiden at Superbock Superrock
In 1994, Burr was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, an affection which jeopardized his skills as a drummer. “I kept dropping things,” he recalled. “I couldn’t grip properly. I could barely keep hold of my sticks.” He is only remembered fondly after a career full of distinction and pioneering.