Metal Storm logo
Michael Burston


NA Disgust - guitars  
NA The Rock 'N' Roll Gypsies - guitars  
NA Warfare - guitars  
1983-1995 Motörhead - guitars  
1995 Warhead - guitars  

Personal information

Also known as: Würzel
Born on: 23.10.1949
Died on: 09.07.2011

Michael "Würzel" Burston (23 October 1949 - 9 July 2011), born in Cheltenham, was an English musician and formerly a guitarist in the British heavy metal band Motörhead.

Before joining Motörhead in 1984, Burston had been a corporal in the Army, serving in Germany and Ireland with the 1st Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment, and had played in the bands Bastard and Warfare. Joining another relatively unknown guitarist, Phil Campbell, they played together at a Motörhead audition, and both were taken on. The new four-piece line-up made its debut recording a backing track for The Young Ones on 14 February 1984. Burston acquired the nickname Wurzel whilst in the Army, being compared to the character Worzel Gummidge due to his scarecrow-style hair and bumpkin-like manner. Motörhead singer Lemmy demanded that Würzel add an umlaut to the 'U' in his name, for heavy metal effect.

Würzel saw a number of changes to the line-up in the band, each involving the drummer, until he left in 1995. Although he played on Sacrifice, he left the band before the tour. He was not replaced and Motörhead remains a three-piece. He had made a few guest appearances with the band: at the 2008 Download Festival and at the 2009 Guilfest, as well as a few other appearances on the band's 2008 UK tour.

In 1998, quasi-inspired by psychedelically-informed experiences in Ghent, Belgium,[citation needed] Würzel recorded and released an ambient, improvised avant-garde album entitled Chill Out Or Die.

On July 9, 2011, Tim Butcher, Motörhead leader Lemmy's longtime bass tech and "right-hand man" reported that Würzel has died after suffering of ventricular fibrillation, caused by cardiomyopathybut. Before he passed away, Würzel was working on new material with his new band, Leader of Down. They announced the release of their debut single for early 2010.


With Motörhead

No Remorse (1984)
Orgasmatron (1986)
Rock 'n' Roll (1987)
Nö Sleep at All (1988)
The Birthday Party (1990)
1916 (1991)
March ör Die (1992)
Bastards (1993)
Sacrifice (1995)
BBC Live & In-Session (2005)

Solo work

Bess (1987)
Chill Out Or Die (The Ambient Album) (1998)

Other work and guest appearances

Warfare - Metal Anarchy (1985)
V.A. - "Where Would You Rather Be Tonight?" (1986) (All proceeds from this album went to Broadreach House, a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts and alcoholics)
Atomgods - WOW! (1988)
Warhead - Warhead (1995)
Disgust - A World Of No Beauty (1996)
WVKEAF - "Jump/Maximism" - (1997)
Splodgenessabounds - Artful Splodger (2001)

VHS & DVD appearances

Motörhead - The Birthday Party (1986)
Motörhead - 1916 Live...Everything Louder than Everything Else VHS & DVD 1991.
Motörhead - Videobiography (2007) (Wurzel is featured on Disc 2 of Motörhead Videobiography, in a 50 minute interview, his first since leaving the band; filmed in early 2007)