I can’t think of anyone that wasn’t shocked to hear about the passing of one of Rock n Roll’s greatest icons, Lemmy, over this Christmas holiday.
Even people that didn’t listen to Motörhead would surely have gasped as Lemmy was a household name and more than just the frontman of one of the world’s best known bands.
It’s been great reading stories of peoples meetings with Lemmy and seeing photos on Facebook and despite his death the posts brought a smile to my face. Especially the ones citing Lemmy as being their main influence for getting into Heavy Metal and wanting to be in a band.
These comments are some of the most sincere I have ever read on Facebook and go to show just how much respect Lemmy had from all walks of life.
I never met Lemmy.
I passed him going the opposite direction on an escalator on the London Underground somewhere once. Said “Hi Lemmy!” and he said “Alright?!” back.
That’s my only close encounter with him apart from being at the front, or as near as I could get to the front, at gigs.
But being at the front (especially as you get older) doesn’t really matter at a Motörhead gig. Everyone is there for one reason and one reason only. To see Motörhead. And, of course, to hear them! They were, after all, known for being loud. Very loud!
What an excellent motto that is. And one which everyone who has seen Motörhead can attest to.
And most would say that is loud enough. With the exception of my good friend Adrian Morgan.
At one gig (Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall) we were on a balcony and Adrian kept shouting “Turn it up!”
After a while Lemmy turned and went to his speakers and then returned to his microphone.
He then looked up at the balcony and said “This one’s for that deaf cunt up there!”
Of course, Adrian, me and Russell went absolutely nuts. Not that we weren’t going nuts already! Who doesn’t at a Motörhead gig?
That’s just one of many great Motörhead gig memories
I won’t jibber jabber on about individual gigs but I will say that between my first live encounter with Motörhead in 1984 through to my last a couple of years ago I can honestly say that I never saw a bad gig.
I’ve seen Lemmy walk off stage a couple of times. Well, wouldn’t you if someone spat at you? This goes back to the punk era when you spat at the band. Fuck knows why. And in the earlier days he even threatened to get off the stage and ‘have it out’ with the fucker that did it. Verbatim.
Does that make Lemmy a bad frontman? No. Does that make him a bad man? No. It makes him a human being. And it certainly didn’t ruin my gig experience.
All that aside, Lemmy was an amazing musician in an amazing band that never failed to deliver. He was Rock n Roll. No question.
I think I’ve said all I want to or, indeed, need to. Everyone has their own memories of Motörhead and Lemmy to share and I hope you don’t mind me sharing mine here.
Following photos are taken from Facebook posts. Please enjoy and celebrate the life of Lemmy.
Rest In Peace Lemmy.