A day has come that no metalhead thought would ever come. Lemmy from Motörhead has died at the age of 70. We never thought he would make it to 70, but at the same time we never thought he would die. Reading his excellent book White Line Fever made me realise he was the great survivor and like Mad Max a true road warrior. He was a stubborn fighter who never compromised for his vision which earnt him an untold amount of respect. Many of those were musicians who went on to start their own bands inspired by Motörhead. There have been countless tributes to him across social media from friends, bands, fans and admirers of Lemmy, proving how much of a legend he really was. He achieved so much, he did it all and then some. He undoubtedly was one of a kind.
One of the most memorable bits of the wonderful Lemmy movie is a quote said by a fan, “if a nuclear bomb drops, only Lemmy and cockroaches will remain“. That was part of the appeal about Lemmy; he was a mainstay, the bad-ass old man, the fighter who deserved every accolade he got. He was an institution in metal culture, part of the furniture so to speak. Motörhead would always be playing a show somewhere, always on a festival line-up and always promoting a new album. Twenty two albums in forty years, every one of them stamped with Lemmy’s talent and attitude. Their final opus Bad Magic, a fine note to end on. Lemmy’s death hit so hard as no one prepared themselves for the news, it’s hard to imagine a world without him. I was lucky enough to see Motörhead live in 2011 at Sonisphere Festival where they performed the day after their former guitarist, Wurzel, died. While clearly upset, the band played and delivered an entertaining set. Finally getting to hear ‘Ace of Spades’ and ‘Overkill’ live was an absolute joy. To see a band in the flesh that had influenced legions of bands led by one of the best frontmen in the business is something I’ll never forget. They were also a band that broke into the mainstream, their music and the band themselves have appeared in TV shows, films, adverts and more. When I saw a theatre performance of Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, the song ‘Born To Raise Hell’ was used during Faustus’ descent into madness.
I personally loved Lemmy because he never quit, he wouldn’t stop touring, making the music and playing for the fans. He hated ‘Ace of Spades’ but played it for the fans every night. He was one of the coolest men on the planet, the image of him sitting in his beloved Rainbow Bar in LA drinking Jack Daniels is an image that will never die. There will never be another Lemmy, pure and simple. His music through Motörhead, Hawkwind and his countless guest appearances, will never die. What also will never die is the image of Lemmy, a leader of the metal community, one of the most bad-ass people who ever lived. The world is a lot quieter without him, R.I.P Lem and thank you for the music.