Metallica’s Kirk Hammett has paid tribute to the band’s late bassist Cliff Burton on the 34th anniversary of his death. 

Taking to Instagram, the guitarist remembered “one of [his] closest friends” who passed away at the age of 24.

“Cliff was one of my closest friends, he was really smart and funny too,” he began.

He continued: “We shared a love for horror, H.P. Lovecraft, and The Velvet Underground… he constantly pushed me to be a better person and musician.”

“One of his [favourite] quotes he would say to me often was ‘there is power in truth, never back down’,” he said.

He concluded: “It was so unexpected when he left us… the sadness remains… I will always remember him… I am not sure who took this photo – but it’s a great one.”

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Burton played on Metallica’s first three studio albums, and co-wrote hits including ‘For Whom the Bell Tools’, ‘Master of Puppets’ and ‘Ride the Lightning’.

He passed away in 1986 after a tour bus crash in which he was the only casualty.

Kirk Hammett joined the band in 1983, a year after Cliff Burton. In a recent interview with Loudersound, he recalled the time he was asked to leave former band Exodus and join Metallica.

“It was April 1st, April Fool’s Day, and I was sitting on the toilet,” he said.

“I got the call from [Metallica sound engineer] Mark Whittaker, and after I hung up, I was like, ‘I can’t believe I just got that phone call. Was that an April Fool’s Day prank?’ A couple of days later I got this tape from them, but I already had the demo and I already knew two-thirds of the songs on there.”

He also revealed how “pissed” his Exodus band members were regarding his departure, saying, “I remember Paul Baloff was so pissed that he poured a beer over my head.””He said, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this Kirk’, then poured his beer over my head. I just took it, ‘Yeah, yeah, I know…’”

Check out ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica: