Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Dead: Rockers React
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Lemmy died of cancer Monday (December 28), four days after his 70th birthday. According to the band’s statement on Facebook, he had only learned of his diagnosis two days ago, and was at home playing a video game when he passed.
His death at the age of 70 ends one of the truly great rock n’ roll lives. In the last few years of his life, his health issues forced Motorhead to cancel numerous shows. But he fought through it as best as he could and gave everything he had. An ultimate road dog, the band ended a European tour two weeks ago, which had its own share of problems. Shortly before they started, they learned of the death of former drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Then, the Paris terrorist attacks happened two days before they were scheduled to perform. Finally, an undisclosed illness to guitarist Phil Campbell saw them cancel three dates. Still, they were about to embark on another European tour on Jan. 23, 2016.
Heralded by a traditional onstage introduction of “We are Motorhead and we play rock n’ roll,” Motorhead’s stripped-down, take-no-prisoners approach ultimately made Lemmy one of the few rockers who had credibility in punk, classic rock and metal circles.
For instance, Queen‘s Brian May – writing at brianmay.com – admits that “words don’t come easy, especially when you know Lemmy would have laughed at us all trying to say dignified things about him being a hero. Any time I attempted to say anything complimentary to Lemmy to his face, he would fix me with a kind of amused, contemptuous stare. But a kind of hero he certainly was. Unique in just about every way imaginable. He was a living mismatch of personality types. His music was roaring, abrasive, uncompromising, and his lyrics mostly deliberately gave no hint of sensitivity. Yet as a person he was a pacifist, a deep thinker, and a man who cared profoundly about his friends.”
Meanwhile, ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons called Lemmy “a friend who upheld the rock ’n’ roll standard of the first order. The term ‘iconic’ applies and it would certainly be to Lemmy. His single mindedness and dedication have long been a source of constant intrigue and we’re confident Lemmy’s enduring legacy will stand tall. Considering the ruckus he made during the life he led allows us to just leave with, ‘Rock on, Lem.”
Take a look below to see more of reactions from the world of rock …
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) December 29, 2015
Lemmy: Rest In Peace, my friend. pic.twitter.com/2M6VPiBGyE
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) December 29, 2015
..a true original.. who lived to rock… RIP Lemmy! – Geddy Lee pic.twitter.com/7quxQhogEz
— Rush (@rushtheband) December 29, 2015
Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) December 29, 2015
Very sad to hear of Lemmy's passing. We've lost a true, true legend. RIP pic.twitter.com/vVVckaeZXM
— Geezer Butler (@GZRMusic) December 29, 2015
Lemmy, RIP – so sorry you're gone. I stand with the countless souls who will miss you, and who love you very much. – Bill. @myMotorhead
— Bill Ward (@billwarddrums) December 29, 2015
GOD BLESS LEMMY – 1945 – 2O15 tBLSt SDMF tLKt pic.twitter.com/UNRAsIrbYP
— Zakk Wylde (@ZakkWyldeBLS) December 29, 2015
Wow just heard, Lemmy was a friend and legend. #RipLemmy
— Vince Neil (@thevinceneil) December 29, 2015
— ❌ Nikki Sixx ❌ (@NikkiSixx) December 29, 2015
Rest In Peace Lemmy. A hell of a man who suffered no fools. U shall be missed brother, and, THANK u 4 the years of unwavering kick ass R&R.
— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) December 29, 2015
R.I.P. Lemmy Kilmister ! u will be missed… https://t.co/DUssGYnf18
— Gilby Clarke (@gilbyclarke) December 29, 2015
RIP Lemmy Kilmster https://t.co/GDd6zBElLY
— Bumblefoot (@bumblefoot) December 29, 2015
— ASHBA (@DjASHBA) December 29, 2015
— Tim 'Ripper' Owens (@TimRipperOwens) December 29, 2015
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) December 29, 2015
Lemmy — Motorhead What else can I say?
— Krist Novoselić (@KristNovoselic) December 29, 2015
Lemmy was a true rock icon, singular in voice and spirit. Metal flags fly at half mast tonight as we salute the incomparable Ace Of Spades.
— Tom Morello (@tmorello) December 29, 2015
Literally the only man on the planet who could pull this off. pic.twitter.com/UrvaRbFuqP
— Jon Wurster (@jonwurster) December 29, 2015
We just heard the horrible news. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Lemmy Kilmister's family, friends, all his… https://t.co/vA3SpIoL5b
— Queensrÿche (@queensryche) December 29, 2015
— MichaelSweet Stryper (@michaelhsweet) December 29, 2015
— Joe Perry (@JoePerry) December 29, 2015
Sorry to hear Lemmy Kilmister has passed away. Grateful for the few brief momentsJay and I spent with him. Condolences to friends and family
— Tom Hamilton (@THaerosmith) December 29, 2015
RIP #Lemmy heaven is Rockin tonight
— Joey Kramer (@joeykramer) December 29, 2015
My heart is broken. @iamlemmy is gone. He changed my life. He made my life. I loved him.
— Dee Snider (@deesnider) December 29, 2015
Rest In Paradise Ian Lemmy Kilmister @myMotorhead
— THE CULT (@officialcult) December 29, 2015
Oh my. Lemmy got let in on the big secret. One of the greatest rockers of all time. Amazingly unique incredible bass player. My hero. Wow.
— Flea (@flea333) December 29, 2015
— Dave Navarro (@DaveNavarro) December 29, 2015
" To Lemmy!!…CHEERS!!!" pic.twitter.com/ytRpzRH1fJ
— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) December 29, 2015
RIP my dear Staffordshire friend Lemmy… A beautiful Soul~ I tried many times to keep up with him at the bar or after hours~back in 80's
— Glenn Hughes (@glenn_hughes) December 29, 2015
R.I.P. Lemmy Condolences to his family and friends…. Aside from how much he did for music, he was a nice dude… https://t.co/swoYtPJOCi
— DOUG ALDRICH (@Douglas_Aldrich) December 29, 2015
R.I.P. Lemmy/@myMotorhead . One of a kind, plenty good times w/the man. Damn.
— STEPHEN PEARCY (@StephenEPearcy) December 29, 2015
Lemmy RIP….@myMotorhead my condolences to his family..
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) December 29, 2015
— Sixx Sense (@SixxSense) December 29, 2015
There's nothing we could write here that can live up to the mighty life you lived. You are Rock N Roll. Warrior… https://t.co/Rbn22WFL5y
— Anthrax (Band) (@Anthrax) December 29, 2015
He lived a life of dreams and he went out on top. He was Motörhead and HE PLAYED ROCK & ROLL!!! https://t.co/7wZXgBksq6
— Scott Ian (@Scott_Ian) December 29, 2015
— Travis Barker (@travisbarker) December 29, 2015
My friend died today. We'll all miss you. Your name was Lemmy, and you played Rock n Roll. Rest in Peace, my man. #RIPLemmy
— MEGA-GEEK MELTDOWN!! (@CoreyTaylorRock) December 29, 2015
RIP Lemmy. pic.twitter.com/zubPd2N0uM
— Philip H. Anselmo (@philiphanselmo) December 29, 2015
Motörhead – I'm So Bad (Baby I Don't Care) Live Rock lost 1 of it's GREATS Metal lost 1 of it's FATHERS R.I.P. Lemmy https://t.co/BErISmTfUa
— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) December 29, 2015
— Charlie Benante (@skisum) December 29, 2015
RIP Lemmy. A rebel poet until the end. A true inspiration.
— Myles Kennedy (@MylesKennedy) December 29, 2015
It is a sad day. We have lost Lemmy, a legend of legends. With the highest respect, Rest in Peace my friend. King pic.twitter.com/MGlh5gPU4P
— King Diamond (@RealKingDiamond) December 29, 2015
It's a day like today that reminds me how lucky we all truly are to be alive. we can't take this life 4 granted https://t.co/nRKqvpQQHJ
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) December 29, 2015
FUCK!!!!!!! RIP LEMMY Sad that so many of us saw this coming, but never thought it would really happen…we all thought you'd live forever
— Mike Portnoy (@MikePortnoy) December 29, 2015
— Rob Zombie (@RobZombie) December 29, 2015
We are sad to hear about the sudden passing of "Lemmy" Kilmister of Motorhead. Our thoughts are with his family… https://t.co/wM6loK0wNp
— FOGHAT (@FOGHAT) December 29, 2015
Rest in peace Lemmy
— Laura Jane Grace (@LauraJaneGrace) December 29, 2015
Farewell Lemmy. I love you brother.
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) December 29, 2015
November 2015: Motorhead’s Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor Dies
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30 Historic Moments From Lemmy’s Life