Killed by Death! Tribute to Ian Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead
2015 ended with one of the most tragic events for Rock 'n Roll. On December the 28th Ian Lemmy Frazer Kilmister died. Pretty sad news to close the year with. I heard about it at 8 am and I refused to believe that the incarnation of Rock 'n Roll is no longer with us.There was an urban legend that said: “After the post Nuclear War Apocalypse, the only remaining things on earth would be cockroaches, rats and Lemmy!” But sadly, we were not lucky enough to see that. I used to joke with my friends that those big moles were his source of power, and that he would eventually die if one of these moles fell off of his face. A lot of you may think something like: woooahh, this guy is rude!! but man, as far as I know, Lemmy was the guy who appreciated humor of all sorts more than anything in the world.
Anyway, after hearing the bad news I tried to fall asleep again but that was pretty impossible at the moment. As soon as I sat down on my computer, the web was already flooded by this. Then I put One more fucking time in my playlist and started to cry as a baby. I cried till my eyes went dry. Still, I cannot believe he is not with us anymore. His music really means a lot to me. He is the man that taught me to say FUCK YOU to everything I don't like. He was like a father or a mental guru of some sorts that opened my eyes during the teenage years even more than my friends and my family. His lyrics and the way of thinking shaped my mind for good (although I cannot say the same for his lifestyle). Lemmy said that doing acid made him a better person. I am quite sure that millions of people think the same for his music.
Everything about him is just exceptional. Not many people can say that they remember a time when there was no Rock 'n Roll. (and who can also claim to had seen his favorite band (The Beatles) before they even recorded their debut album or to had been the roadie for Jimmi Hendrix for instance ??) He may not be the founder of this genre, but I deem to say that he was definitely one of the most iconic musicians of all time. It's also good to notice that he was born right after the WWII on December the 24th 1945. Pretty cool if you are familiar with Lemmy's interest in history, and collection of his war memorabilia. As I mentioned above, he was THE incarnation of Rock 'n Roll. And there are plenty of reasons for that! First of all, no one looked as badass as him. His image was truely unique. As far as I know, Lemmy was probably the first guy who introduced bullet belts into classic Rock 'n Roll /metal image. His way of living was also badass and over the top: sex, drugs, Rock 'n Roll were part of his everyday life. It's like a line in one of his songs : Everything changes.. except for Lemmy!!! He was an axiom or algorythm of some sorts that stayed the same throughout time with no sign of regret in his life. Not many people remained true to themselves like Lemmy.
As far as his music is concerned, he left a HUGE legacy to the world behind him. Motörhead was one of the few bands who could unite metalheads, Rock 'n Roll fans, punks, hardcore kids, bikers, skinheads etc. under their wing and cast all their differences and hate aside. And that's the ultimate power of music. The impact he had on the genre was tremendous! I mean, his music palette was overflown with subgenres of Rock ' n Roll: psychedelic stuff (Hawkwind) classic Rock 'n Roll, blues, rockabilly, punk, hardcore, thrash metal. His harsh vocals may be recognized as a "proto death metal growls" (long before Jeff Becerra or Chuck Schuldiner). Some of his songs, like The Hammer, Orgasmatron, Tear Ya Down,Metropolis, or BURNER (the list could go on) can make Slayer or Morbid Angel or any extreme metal bands sound like pussies. And yep, Motorhead played thrash metal or punk before there was any thrash metal or punk at all. His music was definitely ahead of its time. Who the fuck had songs like Vibrator back in 1977? But I even appreciate him more as an excellent lyricist. I would need about 20 pages to give his lyrics a proper justice. His writing style was in your face. Orgasmatron is probably his best work. Among one of his finest lyrical works are: The Hammer, Bad Religion, Love me Forever, One more fucking time, Nightmare the Dream Time, Capricorn, Jack The Ripper, Going to Brazil, Bomber, Make my day, Dead and Gone, Take the Blame, Sacrifice etc. etc. But i would mark off Don't let Daddy kiss me as one of the most shocking songs of all time. I am assured that not many bands can write something as brutal as that! Lemmy was truely a poet: no one can stay indifferent by his marvelous 1916 song. What I also loved so much about his lyrics is that he had no mercy for politicians; you can hear Lemmy bark: Politician scum, you make me wanna puke! A few years ago, my English teacher asked the class if they could name some of the politicians who are also good people in general. I said to her: There aren't. She asked me "How come?" but I just couldn't introduce a 55 years old bitch to Motörhead. Lemmy's music is a priviledge for a few. However, Lemmy was an idol to 5 or 6 generations and that number will grow over the years forever!
It's kinda wierd to know that Lemmy will be remembered by Ace of Spadeswhich is a mediocre song when compared with the rest of Motörhead's catalogue. And band like this definitely deserves more attention when one takes into consideration how big Lemmy's contribution to Rock 'n Roll really is. In my opinion, these albums are pure evergreens: Motörhead, Overkill,Bomber, On Parole, Ace of Spades, Iron Fist, Another Perfect Day, Orgasmatron, Rock 'n Roll, 1916, March or Die, Bastards, Overnight Sensation, Snake Bite Love, We are Motörhead and Inferno or to be more precise, 16 magnificent classic albums everyone should listen to. I may be a fanboy but that's the way Ilike it baby! I cannot describe how many times I've listened to first 3 records, or the ones from Orgasmatron to We are Motörhead era. Albums from the 90s are among the finest for sure!! (It's kinda ironic that I was introduced to Motörhead with Snake Bite Love and We are Motorhead and not with Ace of Spades, haha).
Lemmy was a hero. One of a kind. Ljubljana incident shows how great a man he was. Back in 1989, some Slovenian prick joined a dime with a razor and then threw it at Lemmy. That "thing" hit him right in his arm. Even though razor cut his arm and blood was all over the place, Lemmy continued to play and finished the concert. Right after that, he was being hospitalized and the rest of European tour was canceled due to his bad wound. Who the fuck would continue play the whole concert under such a bizzare event? LEMMY would. And how much he loved his fans approves the fact that he was back in Yugoslavia in a year after this stupid event took place. And I hope that the guy who did that shameful thing rots in hell! That wound could’ve cost Lemmy his career! In the end, Lemmy got the guts to finish his last tour in such a bad state. 99% of musicians would stay in bed with their family around, but Lemmy kept on playing till the end!
Words can't descrbie how great of a loss Lemmy's death is. It really shook the world. I am still in disbelief that the Godfather of metal , (as James Hetfield named him) the incarnation of Rock 'n Roll is no longer with us. But his legacy will live on throughout the ages! The world was crying and celebrating his death at the same time! His name will echo in eternity! He was only 70 years old. However, it is extraordinary for him to had lived that long when his lifestyle is concerned. He did so much drugs, that I wouldn't be surprised if his blood and sweat were halluciogenic drugs xD If Lemmy is in Valhala right now, partying with berserkers from the north, I bet that the Vikings just couldn't keep on drinking with him.
A week ago, I was talking to my friend about Lemmy and said, well, he's Killed by Death. And my friend said: "better to be killed by death than to be killed by life". I will never forget that. In the end, everyone dies to break someobody's heart. And Lemmy's death broke many. I hope that he is looking at the clouds from the other side of heaven! He will surely be missed.
Written By: Miloš Čabraja