Rumors that Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister has been ill have been circulating for some time. After spending the best part of 40-years downing a bottle of Jack Daniels a day the legendary Motorhead front-man passed just two days after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
Lemmy lived life hard and was famed for his tendency to excess. Lemmy was a fan of Amphetamines and once said that:
“I first got into speed because it was a utilitarian drug and kept you awake when you needed to be awake, when otherwise you’d just be flat out on your back. If you drive to Glasgow for nine hours in the back of a sweaty truck you don’t really feel like going onstage feeling all bright and breezy… It’s the only drug I’ve found that I can get on with, and I’ve tried them all – except smack [heroin] and morphine: I’ve never “fixed” anything.”
Lemmy is also quoted as having said that he didn’t remember the 1970’s when Motorhead were in their hey-day. According to the BBC Lemmy learned he had a virulent form of cancer just two days after his 70th birthday and died just two days later.
An announcement on Motorhead’s Facebook page announced Lemmy’s death saying:
“There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family.”
“We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.”
“We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD.
Have a drink or few.”
Despite being a long-time fan of Motorhead I never had the opportunity to see them play live until Glastonbury festival this year when Motorhead’s set was the only Pyramid Stage set I watched in full. As a result I have had this ear worm in my mind all day.
According to the Guardian Motörhead’s loud, fast style was a pioneering force in heavy metal. Lemmy’s vocal growl and aggressive bass playing has been emulated by countless other bands, but the singer joked that he largely learned on the job, telling Spin in 2012 that “the volume’s loud so nobody really notices that much”.
Motorhead were due to play Download Festival as well as touring in the UK and Europe in 2016. With Lemmy’s death the only remaining founder of the band has passed and it seems that with Lemmy’s passing we have also seen the end of Motorhead.
According to Consequence of Sound drummer Mickey Dee confirmed Lemmy’s death marked the end of Motörhead.
“Motörhead is over, of course. Lemmy was Motörhead. We won’t be doing any more tours or anything. And there won’t be any more records. But the brand survives, and Lemmy lives on in the hearts of everyone.”
Rest in Peace Lemmy Kilmister, you will be missed by everyone who ever listened to a Motorhead tune.