Clive Burr, a former Iron Maiden drummer, died on Tuesday at the age of 56. Burr, who played on the British heavy metal band’s first three albums, suffered from multiple sclerosis for several years.
Iron Maiden announced Burr’s death on Wednesday, saying that he passed away “peacefully in his sleep at home” in London. He had been in poor health for years before his passing.
The band’s founder and bassist Steve Harris spoke about Burr, calling him “a wonderful person and an amazing drummer.” Harris added that the late drummer “made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out.”
Clive Burr, born in London, joined Iron Maiden in 1979. He played on the band’s self-titled debut album in 1980, as well as the follow-up, “Killers.” The final album he played on was “The Number of the Beast,” which was released in 1982 and topped the album chart in the UK.
Born in 1957, Clive played for British metal band Samson before his days with Iron Maiden. He left Maiden in December 1982, right before they became a global headliner. The drummer was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001. His former Maiden bandmates immediately got together to form the Clive Burr MS Trust Fund. It was aimed at helping Burr pay his living costs.
When Burr struggled to make the payments on his house, Iron Maiden performed a number of concerts in his honor to contribute to the fund. Steve Harris added of Clive Burr’s death:
“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.”
Despite him leaving the band, Clive still stayed close with Iron Maiden. Rolling Stone once praised him by calling his drumming a “major ingredient” to the band’s sound.
The group was known for bringing the speed of punk rock to the heavy metal genre. Iron Maiden’s lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, also paid tribute to Clive, saying, “Even during the darkest days of his MS, Clive never lost his sense of humor or irreverence.”
It is not yet clear when Clive Burr’s funeral will be. He is survived by his partner, Mimi, and the couple’s family.