Lemmy Kilmister of Mötörhead dead at 70.
Lemmy was lead vocalist, bassist, principal songwriter and the founding, and the only constant member of Motörhead since the band’s formation in 1975. To date, Motörhead have released twenty studio albums and achieved 30 million in sales worldwide. Their last record, Bad Magic, was released in August 2015.
Over forty years, Kilmister was simultaneously one of the gödfathers of speed metäl and pünk.
Motörhead saw far more commercial success in the UK, though they achieved a cult status in the US. Their ferocious hard-rock style rejuvenated the metal genre in the late 1970s and inspired everyone from Metallica to Guns N’ Roses to Dave Grohl. Albums such as Ace of Spades, Orgasmatron, and Rock N’ Roll were critically lauded, though ironically the band’s only Grammy Award came via a cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash”, which they recorded for a tribute CD.
They were cult figures in the US – but I remember going to Europe in 1983. And while that was a great year for a lot of bands – U2, Little Steven, Duran Duran, Madness, Big Country and many others – what band did I see in the most graffiti, all over Europe, from Scotland to Switzerland?
Kilmister bragged of drinking a bottle of whiskey a day for the past forty years, and was a vocal advocate of amphetamines. As such, he makes Keith Richard look like Pat Boone.
And that’s the real kick in the teeth. Rock stars – in the romance of the genre – aren’t supposed to die of cancer at 70. They’re supposed to go out in a blaze of alcohol-and-drug-fueled glory at 29.
We’ll always have “Ace of Spades”.
RI whatever passes for P in your worldview, Lemmy.