LONDON, July 11 (UPI) -- Former Motorhead guitarist Michael Burston, who performed under the name Wurzel, has died of heart disease, his representatives said. He was 61.
The Guardian said Burston worked as a builder, then played guitar at small clubs and bars before joining the British heavy metal band in 1984. He performed on nine studio and live albums before his departure from the group in 1995.
"I knew deep down that the only thing I would really be happy doing was playing rock 'n' roll," the newspaper quoted Burston as saying, "but I did think: 'I'm 30 years old -- am I going to do anything? How am I going to carry on playing these pubs forever?'"
The Guardian said Burston first contacted Motorhead lead singer Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister after reading about how guitarist Brian Robertson had recently left the band.
"I wrote [Lemmy] a letter and sent a tape, and he phoned me up for an audition. He also said, 'We'll probably end up with an unknown guitarist' and there was no one in the country who was more unknown than I was," the newspaper quoted Burston as saying.
Burston was a frequent guest performer at Motorhead shows and also contributed to albums by metal bands such as Warhead and Splodgenessabounds.