The death of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister…
Today sees the sad passing of one of rock music’s greatest ambassadors and until now, at the age of seventy, one of it’s great, unexplained survivors. I say that because in truth he should have gone long ago. He lived his life to the full and then some more. None of it was for show, he smoked, he drank, he chased women and he left his mark on the rock genre with a legacy lasting over forty years.
What he achieved in my humble opinion as someone who has followed his music since 1979 was the unique ability to garner affection, admiration and respect across the musical world. Motorhead’s prime in the late 1970s and early 80s came at a time of fierce loyalty to a specific band and genre, Motorhead, with their unique sound and style transcended fixed opinions and became loved for what they were; genuine rock and roll trailblazers.
My first experience of the Motorhead sound in all its deafening glory would be in 1992 at the Böblingen Sporthalle in Germany. I travelled by train from my place of work to see them and get a taste of ‘the old country’ I’d left behind. It was a concert I shall never forget and I would go on to see them in the UK many more times. When they were good they were untouchable but they could also be annoyingly mediocre. Too often in later years their sound and set list became lazy and predictable and for the past two years it was plain to see the years had taken their toll. But whenever I left a gig of theirs wondering why they were playing covers with such a rich catalogue of their own I would stop and review it in the context of the evening. I had seen them live alongside an old and dear friend, drank a few beers and watched a band like no other.
Lemmy lent a hand in creating some wonderful and long lasting memories for me and many others and regardless of musical taste he achieved something all of us would secretly loved to have experienced. We should salute Lemmy and the very small band of true rock legends who passed before him for one simple reason, they took one look at their life and lived it. Like Hendrix and Morrison, there will never be another like him, not even close.
Categories: The Music Lounge