Well, of course, the first post of 2022 is regarding the death of another one of our pioneering metal heroes. Burke Shelley was the voice and bassist for early influential Welsh rock trio Budgie. I’m guessing that most of you are probably more familiar with Metallica’s cover version of Budgie songs, Breadfan and Crash Course in Brain Surgery, than you are with the actual music of Budgie. Hell, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t introduced to Budgie through those Metallica versions as well. But once I went back to the original Budgie albums, I discovered a wonderfully eccentric and thoroughly original band. Burke’s almost effeminate voice was a key component to their quirky sound and his trademark glasses were just in keeping with the nerdy aspect of this band. Budgie always seemed to be more of one of those bands whose influence on more famous bands was greater than the reach their music actually had on its own. Which is a shame because these guys just had so many really great songs. They could rock with the best of ’em and they could crank out some of the most tearjerkingly tender ballads. Burke, you’ll be missed. Thanks for all the great tunes.