He was a force to be reckoned with anytime he stepped foot on stage or if you were in his mere presence.
Lemmy was a god in his own right and probably smarter than most people you've met in your life.
If you meet any Metal head, rocker, punk or any hesher and you ask them to name a Motörhead song, most will name, "Ace of Spades" without thinking about it. That was their calling card song right there. The mighty Motörhead had a ton of other tunes that ran circles around that one, but it's one you never forget and the lyrics are pretty easy to remember.
What we lost was a the last of the great gunfighters. Lemmy lived the way he wanted his entire 70 years in existence. Even when he was hit with serious health issues a few years ago, he slowed down a little, but not to the extent most would. For example, he was told by doctors to lay off the alcohol. So he traded in his Jack Daniels for vodka. Typical Lemmy fashion.
Many of the legends still with us (Ozzy, Rob Halford, Tony Iommi etc) don't party at all anymore due to their own health issues (ie. they've slowed down in life). Lem lived life to the fullest until the very end. He was in no shape to tour and he died two weeks after completing a leg of the recent Motörhead 40th anniversary tour.
I had the opportunity to see Motörhead perform a number of times in my life and very grateful. I lost partial hearing in my right ear at a Motörhead show in 1998 (Anthrax vocalist Joey Belladonna's solo band was support - he wasn't in Anthrax at the time). It was a smaller venue, (smaller than what they would normally perform) but intimate, sold out and so fuckin' loud. I was right in front of Lemmy and his Marshall stack. Back in the day, I didn't wear ear protection and having almost lost some hearing at a Rainbow show a number of years ago, this one sealed the deal. I remember it vividly. As soon as they launched into "Orgasmatron" I was screwed. I had been to my fair share of concerts prior to 1998 (a ton to be exact) and I had never heard a concert so loud in my life. I was deaf. And of course Motörhead released a compilation album in 2000 entitled, 'Deaf Forever'. Yeah, that was me.
Aside from Motörhead, I was also into his side band The Head Cat. They released two CDs
[Fool's Paradise (2006) and Walk the Walk...Talk the Talk (2011)] and one DVD
[Rockin' The Cat Club: Live from the Sunset Strip (2007)]. It's straight-up rock and roll/rockabilly. Always hoped I'd get a chance to see them one time, but it never happened. If Motörhead wasn't on tour, Lemmy was either on tour, in the studio or at The Rainbow playing his favorite video game.
It was an aggressive form of cancer that took Lemmy from us sooner than later and four days after his 70th birthday. The guy lived a lot of life. He also had a lot of friends who came out in droves to offer condolences and funny Lemmy stories.
Hard to believe he's no longer with us, He's been around my entire life and it's just like when we lost Ronnie James Dio. Losing fuckin' legendary people like this always feels like losing a family member. So weird. And the end of Motörhead.
Also, Lemmy's memorial will be streamed live from Los Angeles tomorrow (Sat Jan 9th) at 3PM (PST): https://youtu.be/qSAXVdIj6jY
And more coverage of after party at the Rainbow Bar and Grill in West Hollywood to follow at imotorhead.com
Thank you, Lemmy!
It's been a fun ride. Although I'm sure the ride from your side was a lot more enjoyable than most of us will ever know.
"Born To Lose, Lived To Win"