July 10, 2011 at 08:15 PM EDT

Motörhead guitarist Michael ‘Würzel’ Burston has died at the age of 61, according to the Guardian. Würzel passed away yesterday after suffering from heart disease.

A former army corporal, the guitarist joined the Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilminster-fronted Motörhead in 1984 and rapidly established himself as a fan favorite thanks to his larger-than-life personality and devotion to the metal cause. “I’m not sure why we sound like we do,” Würzel told the Boston Herald in 1991. “Maybe it’s because I hate my guitar and play it accordingly. But there’s always something to be said for banging a chord that hits you in the back of the head.

Würzel played on a string of Motörhead albums, including 1986’s Orgasmatron and 1991’s 1916, before leaving in 1996. The guitarist had recently formed a new band, Leader of Down.

You can see Würzel performing the track “Hellraiser” with Motörhead on the Tonight Show below:

Read more:

The Best of Motörhead: Review

‘1916’: Review

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