2015 is going end in few hours, but it seems it will end with a year full of tragedies. The recent one happened on December-28, 2015 with the death of Ian Fraser Kilmister, aka Lemmy Kilmister – frontman, bassist and founder of the speed metal and rock and roll act “Motörhead.”He died at his home in Los Angeles, California, just four days after his 70th birthday. He was the second member of the band to die in the same year following Phil Taylor in the previous month.
The news came first from radio and TV host Eddie Trunk, who was a long-time friend of Lemmy. Later it has been confirmed by several other musicians, fans, friends and medias. Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne wrote on Twitter with the following words.
“Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.”
The cause of death has been reported to be “short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer.” According to the band, he had learned of the disease on 26 December, two days prior to his death. The band has also stated that they have ended their journey, on the following day, drummer Mikkey Dee confirmed it by stating:
“Motörhead is over, of course. Lemmy was Motörhead,” adding: “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.”
Lemmy was born on Christmas Eve in the Burslem area of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He got his name from the phrase “lemmy [lend me] a quid till Friday” because of his habit of borrowing money from people to feed his addiction to slot machines.
He joined the famous space rock band Hawkwind in August of 1971 as bassist and vocalist and recorded four albums before being kicked out in 1975 as he was arrested at the Canadian/US border in Windsor, Ontario, on drug possession charges; he spent five days in jail. He was released without charge since Windsor Police had arrested him for possession of cocaine, but after testing the drug was revealed to be speed. According to Canadian law at the time, he could not be charged and was released with no charge or conviction.
After that he formed Motörhead with Larry Willis and Lucas Fox in 1975 who were then replaced by “Fast” Eddie Clarke and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and released their self titled first album in 1977. The band’s name was taken from the song with the same title that Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind. Apparently it was the last song he wrote for the band.
After the formation of Motörhead, they have released some the greatest songs ever made in the history of rock. Starting from “Ace of Spades”, “Motörhead”, “Killed by Death”, “Overkill”, “Bomber”, “(We Are) The Road Crew” to “Bomber”, “Dancing on Your Grave”, “In The Name of Tragedy” and more recently “Heartbreaker” and “The Devil”
The band has released their last album titled Bad Magic on August-28, 2015 which feature Jimmi Mayweather and Nick Agee on backing vocals on “Shoot Out All Of Your Lights” and a guitar solo by Brian May of Queen on “The Devil.” The song “When the Sky Comes Looking for You” was the only one from this album to be played live.
Artists who have expressed their condolences and respects over Lemmy’s death have been posted below:
“Lemmy was the finest of gentlemen.
Back in 1979 when I was 16 years old, I heard Overkill for the first time. I thought it was the fastest thing I’d ever heard, and I declared to all my friends that Motörhead were the fastest band in the land.
When I had first seen pictures of what these guys looked like, I noticed a certain authenticity about them. I imagined they lived the way they looked and looked the way they lived.
And I remember very distinctly having a realization that moment — I realized that it was OK to be an outsider and that it was OK to not feel like I had to conform to anything that I objected to in my teenage life because clearly the Motörhead guys in this picture looked like they didn’t conform to anything at all and boy it sure looked and sounded like they were enjoying themselves as a result.
So I got a lot from that pic and that massive sound and that attitude.
And I have to thank Lemmy, Fast Eddie and also the recently departed Philthy Animal for the inspiration, spark and fire that I felt so strongly from that night in 1979.
That inspiration will always be there with me and may the music of Motörhead live on!”
– Kirk Hammet
“Very sad to hear of Lemmy’s passing. We’ve lost a true, true legend. RIP”
– Geezer Butler
“Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists. We’re forever grateful for all of your inspiration. RIP”
“He was innovative, true to his art and continually relevant even though he never cared about being relevant. … He was always creating and redefining hard rock and the role of bass within it. Offstage, he was a gem. I can’t think of anyone who didn’t adore Lemmy. He was such an original character in rock, and I will truly miss seeing him out on the road.”
– Alice Cooper
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