Motorhead’s Lemmy, dies at 70
After the death of Motörhead drummer Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor last month at 61 and amidst rumours of the passing of guitarist Phil Campbell this month, frontman and founder Lemmy has lost life’s last gamble to cancer, aged 70. Over 50 years playing in bands, nearly 40 with Motörhead, he’d played alongside Jimi Hendrix and the Hollies, with the latter his “drummer succeeded in being a complete cunt and destroyed the stage under himself and fell into the hole!”
Asked just weeks ago when he was going to die, Lemmy said he was sick of the question:
“Death is an inevitability, isn’t it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don’t worry about it. I’m ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn’t complain. It’s been good.” – Classic Rock
He lived life full throttle, at speed, at times on speed or acid. He argued for the legalising of heroin to get the dealers off the street. He was “sex, drugs and rock’n’roll” incarnate, for he never saw Motörhead as a Metal band, but a full-on Rock band.
“Very basic music – loud, fast, city, raucous, arrogant, paranoid, speed-freak rock n roll. It will be so loud that if we move in next door to you, your lawn will die“.
He played and sang in Hawkwind splitting over “pharmaceutical differences”! He then formed his own band so that “no-one can fire me again”, calling it Bastard before renaming to Motörhead – “US slang for someone who takes speed and also the title of the last song he had penned for Hawkwind.”
Motorhead, The Ace of Spades
Playing, touring and recording to the end, the band produced 21 albums including their most famous – Ace of Spades, in 1980.
Poker’s Dead Man’s Hand is reputed to have contained the Ace of Spades, Ace of Clubs and a pair of Eights, Wild Bill Hickok’s last hand as he died from gunshots. He was once described himself as “unchanging, unflinching- a gunslinger surrounded by mice“. The lyrics of the title song included the words:
“If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man,
You win some, lose some, all the same to me,
The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say,
I don’t share your greed, the only card I need is
The Ace Of Spades
Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil,
Going with the flow, it’s all the game to me,…
You know I’m born to lose, and gambling’s for fools,
But that’s the way I like it baby,
I don’t wanna live for ever,…“
Lemmy played hard and fast with life, after drawing the cancer diagnosis card on Boxing Day he was dead two days later.
— Kate Bottley (@revkatebottley) December 29, 2015
Lemmy Quotes on Religion
Lemmy first performed in a band called The Motown Sect in Manchester then Reverend Black and The Rocking Vicars dressed as a cleric, his biological father had been an RAF Chaplain and vicar, but he had no time for religion himself, indeed:
“the way [his father] behaved put me off religion for life. He ran off and left my mother and I didn’t see him for 25 years…[he was] kicked out of the church”.
He didn’t hold back on telling people the truth as he saw it, even if it upset people.
“The only interesting thing about religion is how many people it’s slaughtered. Communism and Nazism are religions as well, make no mistake about it.” – interview with Louder Than War
“Religion is stupid anyway. I mean, a virgin gets pregnant by a ghost! You would never get away with that in a divorce court, would you?” – interview with Radio Metal
Lemmy might have agreed with Kurgan in Highlander (1986), speaking to a priest and church congregation:
“I have something to say! It’s better to burn out than to fade away!”
RIP Lemmy Kilmister, and Motorhead?
Lemmy lived loud like Motörhead’s sound, “born to lose but lived to win” according to his bandmates. He had no regrets.
“If I have to die and be on my deathbed regretting decisions I made, I’m not interested in that…I don’t do regrets. Regrets are pointless. It’s too late for regrets. You’ve already done it, haven’t you? You’ve lived your life. No point wishing you could change it.”
During a Motörhead tour of Finland in 1988, he was asked by a journalist why he had kept going for so long, even back then: “We’re still here,” he replied, “because we should have died a long time ago but we didn’t.” He, and more than likely Motörhead, now have.