It was in the early hours of September 27th 1986 that the thrash metal band Metallica was heading south on the road E4, on their way from Stockholm to Copenhagen. When the tour bus suddenly flipped and went off-road, Cliff Burton was thrown out of a window. He was crushed under the bus as it crashed on the road.
The rest of the band, as well as the bus driver, all made it out of the accident unharmed.
Since then, the site of the accident has lived on as a memorial and a popular point of interest for Metallica-fans. As the thrash metal band from California gained popularity, more fans visited the place as a music-pilgrimage. And the anniversaries of Cliff Burtons death attracts even more people.
Ingvar Palm visited the site yesterday to honor Burtons memory. And he was not alone.
”After tonights soccer practice”, Ingvar wrote on his Facebook page upon his trip to the memorial, ”I met up with some people from Denmark, England, and a bunch of people from Mexico”.
— I went there spontaneously, and saw that a bunch of people were already there, he says.
What's your recollection of the accident 30 years ago?
— Well, I already lived in Dörarp back then. And Metallica was already famous so it was all pretty dramatic, Ingvar says.
A memorial stone was risen at the site, but that was long after the accident. Nevertheless it has become one of the most visited sites in the town of Ljungby.
— It's always people there, at least in the summer. I talked to some guys from Mexico yesterday, and told them that it was me who put the cross by the [memorial] stone. They said that I will live a long and happy life, since I'm under their protection from now on, Ingvar says jokingly.
Were you a Metallica fan back then, 30 years ago?
— No, I wouldnt say that. It wasn't really my kind of music, but the accident really affected me, so I've been listening to a lot of Metallica since then. I really think Cliff Burton was very talented.
Ingvar often visits the memorial place and tends to the stone, making sure everything looks neat.
— Well, it's kind of become our trademark. And every now and then someone has to clean up after all the people that comes here to drink with Cliff Burton, Ingvar says.