Cliff Burton‘s father Ray Burton remembered the time when his son was joining METALLICA, saying on the Alphabetallica Podcast (transcribed by UG):
“That was probably in 1982, something around there, maybe ’83. He came to [his mother] Jan and me, and he said, ‘Mom and dad, if you can support me for five years, I’d really appreciate it.’
“We didn’t have all that much, but we could certainly support him. He said, ‘If I don’t make it, I feel that I can become a studio musician.’
“That’s what he proposed to us, and of course we said, ‘You bet! Go out there and give it a try, and we’ll support you the best we can.’ It worked out pretty well.
“Just a shame that it was cut so short.
“Quite often I think about what it would be like if Cliff were alive today. And I can just picture him still playing that kind of music he liked.
“One time I mentioned to him about playing the stand-up bass. He said, ‘Yeah, I thought about that, sometime I’ll take it up.’ That showed to me that he could think about spreading out in his ability to play music.”
Asked on how much Metallica changed Cliff, Ray replied:
“Cliff didn’t change at all.
“He was quite a humble person, he didn’t like the strutting types that rock and roll musicians get to be when they get popular.
“He just liked to do his wild playing of heavy metal music and he never changed.
“He would see high-school friends on the street or in the restaurant and he would get up out of his chair and go over and greet them. He never changed at all in that respect. He was always appreciative of friends. So no, he didn’t change at all.
“He would quite often call and chat with Jan. A couple of times I talked to him, but she was the one that would talk the most to him. They got along just beautifully. That was a nice thing, to have support. He was quite appreciative of that.”