Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, an appreciation

By on 29 December 2015

Words: Kat Gillham

The news that Motörhead founder and frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister had passed away broke early this morning. This news shell-shocked the music world and Motörhead fans alike. Lemmy was a man known for his hellraising attitude and lifestyle as well as the music he created, he epitomised the words rock ‘n’ roll, lived by his own rules and without boundaries, never compromising or conforming. He was a real musical outlaw.

There was only one choice for the cover star of Terrorizer 100

There was only one choice for the cover star of Terrorizer 100

His infamous drug and alcohol fuelled lifestyle seemed to have no ill effect on him for many years, he seemed to many to be some kind of walking medical miracle or even immortal, like some unstoppable unwavering super-human being recording and touring constantly for 40 years with the band he formed in 1975 after being ousted from the ranks of Hawkwind. His instantly recogniseable trademark gravel throated vocal attack and bulldozing bass tone having provided the soundtrack for the lives of generations of music fans and music loving families and the band penned some of the most memorable and iconic anthems in heavy music including the 1980 hit “Ace Of Spades”.

Lemmy has suffered from some well documented health issues in more recent years but he kept on going and was clearly determined to keep the show on the road, bouncing back from various setbacks and hitting both the road and stages across the world again and again, refusing to give in to ageing and never giving up the rock ‘n’ roll attitude he has had for his entire lengthy musical career, up to a month or so before his passing in support of their 22nd studio album “Bad Magic” released earlier this year.

Lemmy and Motörhead helped to shape the heavy and extreme music scene as we know it today, influencing and inspiring so many well known musicians and bands that followed in their footsteps such as Metallica, Venom, Sepultura, Slayer, Sodom, Bathory and well pretty much every rock and metal band you can think of that was formed after Lemmy and Motörhead first started recording and bringing their music to stages including many Terrorizer favourites. Their influence didn’t stop there, Motörhead had a huge crossover appeal and were one of the first rock bands to widely appeal to punks due to their gritty, dirty, raw and energetic sound and had a definete impact on punk bands such as Discharge, GBH and Amebix, and helped bring both scenes together.

The official Motörhead press statement said that Lemmy, who had recently turned 70, succumbed to an “extremely aggressive cancer” in his adopted home of LA only days after recieving the diagnosis and 2 days after his 70th birthday. This was also only a month and a half after his former bandmate and original Motörhead drummer Philthy Animal Taylor passed on… god help the afterlife if there is one!

The world has lost a great musical pioneer and a true musical legend, the word legend is thrown around a lot but Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister was every inch a legend and defined the term ‘rockstar’ although if you ask anybody who has met him he was by all accounts a down to earth gentleman too. We will never see another Lemmy, the man was unique, he seemingly cheated and defied death for so many years which was a miracle in itself given his notorious lifestyle.

The musical legacy of Lemmy and Motörhead will live on and continue to influence and inspire generations to come, although will never see another Motörhead album or tour, Lemmy leaves us over 40 years worth of life and game-changing iconic music.

Thank you, Lemmy, raise some hell wherever you are now.

Ian Fraser ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, 24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015.

About Miranda Yardley

I'm Miranda. Bite me.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

%d bloggers like this: