This past Saturday (July 9), it was reported that former Motörhead guitarist Michael “Würzel” Burston passed away. News was first confirmed by Lemmy’s longtime bass tech Tim Butcher via Facebook. No official statement has been made, though it is believed that the guitarist died of ventricular fibrillation, caused by cardiomyopathy, better known as heart disease. Burston was 61 years old.

As a tribute to Burston, Lemmy and the band dedicated their set at the UK’s Soniphere Festival to the late guitartist. Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee had the following to say to the Swedish newspaper Expressen about his former band mate:

“He wrote lots of fucking great Motörhead riffs. I remember missing that when he was not in the band anymore. I missed the simple, classic Motörhead riffs. We never wrote those after that. They ended with him.

He was wonderful, he was really funny. There was a lot of rock and roll in the old man.”

Michael “Würzel” Burston joined Motörhead, along with then unknown guitarist Phil Campbell, in 1984. He appeared on nine of the group’s releases, including 1986’s Orgasmatron and 1992’s March ör Die just to name a few. Though he left the group in 1995, Würzel was reportedly still on very good terms with the rest of Motörhead. Würzel had been performing with his new band Leader Of Down for the past couple of years.

Our condolences go out to Würzel family and friends. We’ll keep you posted if more develops. Video of Würzel joining Motörhead on stage during their show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London back in 2009 can be seen up top, while video of Würzel and Motörhead performing on the Tonight Show back in 1992 can be seen after the jump.