Lemmy Kilmister, 1945-2015

The first thing that struck me when I heard Lemmy was dead, aside of the initial shock, was his age. He had just had a birthday and was 70 years old. 70! Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the epitome of crotchety old rock and roll dinosaurs are just 72 – and not even a tenth as bad ass as Lemmy. Soaked in liquor and drugs for decades (he was fired from Hawkwind in 1975 for doing “the wrong drugs”), its a wonder we had him with us for as long as we did.

We lost a massive figure in music last night. Without Lemmy, heavy music would be completely different, unrecognizable. Hell, we might not have heavy metal at all, full stop. I can’t imagine a world like that any no more than I can imagine being such a pivotal figure in its creation.

We lost a titan last night. Queue up “Stone Dead Forever,” turn it up LOUD, fill your glass with whiskey and give thanks for Lemmy.

– Stu Horvath

A few years ago, I was visiting a friend in Los Angeles and found myself stuck in traffic on Sunset Blvd. While crawling past the Director’s Guild, Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store, Motörhead’s “White Line Fever” came up on my iPod and I realized I was spitting distance from the one place in the US every Motörhead fan had to visit at least once. It was approaching happy hour so I decided to park the car and duck into the Rainbow Bar and Grill for a drink.

I heard stories about people always seeing Lemmy playing video poker there, so I hoped to catch a glimpse too. He wasn’t there that day, so I took the place in, had my drink, smoked a cigarette and walked back to my car. I was bummed I didn’t see Lemmy, but I figured I’d get to creep on him next time. He’s Lemmy after all, he’s goddamn invincible!

I have yet to go back to the Rainbow Bar and Grill.

Rip it, Lemmy. Fuck cancer.

– Ian Gonzales

Lemmy was not of this Earth and we were all never fully capable of appreciating how awesome and important he was. I drink Jack Daniels because of him, Motörhead’s raw and almost unhinged sound continues to inspire me and I will forever be thankful that I shared this planet with him for the first 27 years of my life. That said, I think the film Airheads said it best, “Lemmy is God.”

– Erik Weinbrecht

I don’t really have anything to say (other than fuck cancer indeed!) so these are more or less some random thoughts…

I remember when I first started going to punk shows, I would see some of the older punks with Motörhead patches on their jackets, wearing Motörhead t-shirts. I hadn’t heard Motörhead at the time and just thought they were a heavy metal band. So how could punks like ’em? When I finally did hear Motörhead, I was surprised so many metal heads liked them, as I thought they were pretty damn punk.

Motörhead was one of those bands that I never got to see live, it just never happened.  I almost finally did this past fall, but it was one of the series of shows Lemmy had to cancel due to an unknown (for a few days at least) illness. It was a huge disappointment, but I understood. Dude is rock’n’roll, and if he was too sick to play, then it’s serious.

Lemmy is one of those icons who couldn’t do or be anything else than rock and roll.  If he was going out, he was going out with his boots on and on his own terms. On stage if he had to. More of a man than GG Allin, more real than Johnny Thunders, the only people I can think to compare him to with equal stature who passed away unexpectedly are maybe Lux Interior and Joey Ramone. Now that’s an interesting afterlife group to think about…

– Sal Lucci

Ian is right about Lemmy being a fixture at The Rainbow. The thing about being a fixture is that you first have to be around long enough for people to notice where you hang. Lemmy was around that long and longer. The crime is that his music wasn’t a fixture on the radio. Rather you found Motörhead on the crummy boom boxes of denim clad losers or found Lemmy sneaking into art created by his biggest fans, movies like Hardware or games like Brutal Legend. The other key trait of being a fixture is that people will miss you when you’re gone. Right now many, many people are raising whiskeys to Mr. Kilmister at The Rainbow. We’re gonna miss that man like a motherfucker.

– Gus Mastrapa

If there were a true road warrior of rock and roll, it would be Lemmy. He brought justice with his fierce bass and growly vocals and is the epitome of the rock star lifestyle. It’s sad to think that we all knew it was a matter of time, but I believe his time was still too soon. Here’s to the true warrior of the wasteland, the ayatollah of rock ‘n’ rolla!

– Ken Lucas

Music and art have an unspeakable power. There are many who can be moved to tears by their favorite paintings, or elated by a particularly stunning rendition of a classic. The opening bars of “Ace of Spades” holds this power for me, and many others. Seventy years is too short a time. Rest in peace, Lemmy.

– Jason McMaster

Last night I listened to Hawkwind’s Warrior on the Edge of Time and poured myself a glass of something dark. Seemed like the right things to do. Rest in power, Lemmy.

– Don Becker

Music, Obituary