Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister passed on December 28, just days after celebrating his 70th birthday. Rumors that Lemmy has been ill had been circulating for some time. After spending the best part of 40 years downing a bottle of Jack Daniels a day, Lemmy passed just two days after receiving a cancer diagnosis. Kilmister lived life hard, fast, and loud. Lemmy was famed for his tendency to excess, and in addition to his fondness for Jack Daniels Whiskey, Kilminster claimed that he was a big fan of amphetamines.
“I first got into speed because it was a utilitarian drug and kept you awake when you needed to be awake, when otherwise you’d just be flat out on your back. If you drive to Glasgow for nine hours in the back of a sweaty truck you don’t really feel like going onstage feeling all bright and breezy… It’s the only drug I’ve found that I can get on with, and I’ve tried them all – except smack [heroin] and morphine: I’ve never ‘fixed’ anything.”
Lemmy is also quoted as having said that he didn’t remember the 1970s when Motorhead were in their hey-day. According to BBC News, Kilmister learned he had a virulent form of cancer just two days after his 70th birthday, and sadly, Lemmy died just two days later.
— Rob Schamberger (@robschamberger) January 9, 2016
Kilmister’s death was announced by his bandmates on Motorhead’s Facebook page.
“There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family.
“We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words. We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few.”
According to the Guardian, Motörhead’s loud, fast style was a pioneering force in heavy metal. Lemmy’s vocal growl and aggressive bass playing have been emulated by countless other bands, but Lemmy joked that he largely learned on the job, telling Spin in 2012 that “the volume’s loud so nobody really notices that much.”
— Kerrang! Magazine (@KerrangMagazine) January 9, 2016
Motorhead were due to play the Download Festival as well as touring in the UK and Europe in 2016. With Lemmy’s death, the only remaining founder of the band has passed, and it seems that with Lemmy’s passing we have also seen the end of Motorhead.
According to Consequence of Sound, Motorhead drummer Mickey Dee confirmed that Lemmy’s death marked the end of Motörhead.
“Motörhead is over, of course. Lemmy was Motörhead. 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.”
Kerrang reports that Kilmister will be laid to rest today in Los Angeles. Lemmy lived life loud, and you can expect his exit from this world to be just the same. Kilmister’s funeral and memorial service are a private affair, but it will be streamed live on the internet. Lemmy’s funeral will be shown live at the link below.
Lemmy’s funeral will be held at 3 p.m. at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, but according to the Los Angeles Daily News, the band asked in a message to fans that “with such limited space available on-site, we respectfully ask that you don’t attend the cemetery.”
Fans of Lemmy and Motorhead will be gathering at Lemmy’s favorite hangout, the Rainbow Bar and Grill on the Sunset Strip. Neighboring clubs the Roxy and Whisky A Go Go will also be accommodating Kilmister fans who wish to gather to pay their final respects to Lemmy.
You can be sure that fans will be celebrating Lemmy’s life and the music will be loud — as loud as Lemmy lived his life.
[Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP]