In the early hours of this morning the official Motörhead Facebook page was updated informing the world that it had lost a legend. Yesterday Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister passed away. For those that aren’t aware of the importance of the man; Lemmy was first known worldwide for his part in the classic rock band Hawkwind, pioneers of space rock. After being fired from the band (due to a drug related arrest) Lemmy decided to continue songwriting, this time with a slightly heavier feel. Lemmy started Bastard, a Rock band that would soon be renamed Motörhead. Like Hawkwind, Motörhead would face their fair share of personnel changes. Motörhead had one iconic consistency: Lemmy.
The band innovated a style of music that mixed Metal and Punk in a way that had never been successfully done before. They were also one of very few metal bands to see such commercial success. There are perhaps four metal bands to have a song as well known as ‘Ace of Spades’, but those within the metal community know that the band were much more than a one-hit wonder. With 22 albums worth of studio material full of great material, Motörhead (and Lemmy in particular) contributed an immense wealth of great music. Motörhead, much like Kiss, had become a brand larger than their music with their own range of headphones, wine, and sex toys. There can surely be no Motörhead without Lemmy, but what happens next with the brand remains to be seen.
Known for his wild lifestyle that literally consisted of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, many thought Lemmy would never die, the only person that could live that fast without facing the consequences. Despite living a cleaner lifestyle, Lemmy has faced numerous health problems in recent years. He was certain to make clear that he didn’t care to talk about his health, but rather the music. Speaking to Classic Rock earlier this month he stated: “When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn’t complain. It’s been good”. After a short battle with a cancer that was diagnosed on Boxing Day, Lemmy died doing what he did best, he never stopped being a Rock God and a hero of Metal. There are plenty of questions to be answered, regarding the UK tour that was set for later this month and the festival dates that were booked, now is not the time for those questions, now is a time to remember a true icon of Metal in a way as unique as his life. Turn up the record, open a beer and toast to the only real Rockstar.
Rest in Power.
Image: Jessica Branstetter via Flickr