Remembering Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Metal Punk Legend

Featured Image by Alejandro Páez 

Beloved rock and roller and frontman of iconic heavy metal/punk group Motörhead, Lemmy Kilmister, died at the age of 70 on December 28 just two days after being diagnosed with cancer.


Photo by Ed Vill

Lemmy, born Ian Fraser Kilmister, after three years as bassist of the early space rock group Hawkwind, formed Motörhead, one of the first major exemplar English heavy metal groups, in 1975. Lemmy served as the group’s sole constant member, as lead singer and bassist. Heavy distortion and gravelly vocals marked Motörhead’s unapologetic rock sound, which was considerably trailblazing among more measured metal styles of the time. For this reason, Motörhead became an early influencer within the punk scene, though Lemmy often opted not to categorize the group’s sound as neither metal nor punk; he simply preferred “rock and roll.

Side by side with Lemmy’s ability to captivate rock and roll audiences through transcending genres was his expressive sensibility as a thinker. Throughout his career, Lemmy stunned audiences and journalists alike with his robust knowledge of political and social issues. He was, to say the least; anti-authority on all counts, and makes this very clear throughout his lyrical discography.

“People keep telling me it’s bad for my health
But kicking back don’t make it
Out of control, I play the ultimate role
But that’s what light my fire.”

Motörhead’s influence was and still is monumental within the rock and roll universe, most notably with artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, and Alice Cooper. Second to decades of musical achievements with Motörhead, Lemmy noted that he had in fact made more money from writing Osbourne’s 1991 hit “Mama I’m Coming Home” than from the entire Motörhead catalogue.

Motörhead played their final show on November 12 in Berlin. The group closed with an ear-splitting rendition of “Overkill,” where Lemmy’s guttural vocals surged mightily just weeks prior to his sudden passing. The band announced Lemmy’s death on their Facebook page, requesting that fans “play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.”

What is your favorite Lemmy memory? Tell us in the comments below!

1 Comment

  1. Lauren S

    January 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    One of the few rock n roll legends that was left, we will miss you Lemmy!

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