Lemmy Recalls How His Health Woes Left Him ‘Close to Death’
We were all worried about Lemmy while he struggled to take care of the medical issues that forced Motorhead to postpone a European tour in 2013. And as it turns out, the rock legend's years of hard living really did bring him dangerously close to the grave.
"During my last surgery I was close to death," he admitted during a recent interview. "It was the only moment I was stalked by the devil called doubt. I wondered if I’d make it. I’m not afraid of death -- I often sing about it. So I wasn’t shaking in my bed, but I did have the feeling I wasn’t done yet. I still wanted to do shows and make records. That feeling pulled me through all this."
As previously reported, Lemmy's road to recovery required a complete lifestyle change, including giving up his signature vices of whiskey, cola and cigarettes. He insists, however, that he was able to put it all in perspective, saying, "I had to learn to do with less. The alternative was death." Still, he admitted the prospect of quitting smoking was particularly daunting: "I’ve been smoking since I was 11, so I wasn’t really looking forward to putting out my final cigarette. I faced it like a real man -- no plasters or pills, just cold turkey. I feared I’d have all kinds of side effects, but I didn’t notice anything."
And even though he conceded that "physically I’m not really my old self," he also described the rock 'n' roll euphoria of taking the stage for a gig at London's Hyde Park in July. "I was dragged from the gates of hell to do a show for 95,000 people. A show is a show, but this was different. Would I make it to the end, I asked myself? But afterwards I felt fantastic, and there weren’t any incidents during the rest of the tour."