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Germany ‘Kept Motorhead Alive’ According to Lemmy’s Friend

Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images
Chung Sung-Jun, Getty Images

The death of Lemmy two weeks ago has brought out all sorts of tributes from friends. One of whom was Ian Camfield, a British DJ who had known Lemmy since the late ’90s. In a new interview, Camfield says that, if it wasn’t for Motorhead‘s success in Germany, they most likely would have broken up.

Over at Vanyaland, the interviewer noted the irony of Motorhead’s last concert taking place in Berlin, given that Lemmy was a famous collector of World War II memorabilia. “I guess that is kind of fitting,” Camfield said. “Aside from his collection of World War II memorabilia, he was almost indebted to Germany, because he often said that during that period in the ’90s, Germany basically kept [Motorhead] alive. People in Germany never saw them as uncool and always wanted to see them. He often said that if it wasn’t for Germany, the band probably would have stopped.”

Camfield remembered that dark time, contrasting it with the last decade or so when Motorhead were celebrated for their career achievements. “Although in more recent times he achieved a status of ‘legend,’ I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that, but over time, Motorhead weren’t always in fashion. There was a point in the ’90s where they couldn’t even get a promoter to put on a U.K. tour — and they’re a U.K. band.”

Still, Camfield said that he “wasn’t shocked” that Lemmy died. “I’d seen him quite a few times over the last couple of years and he was never in the best of health,” he noted. “Each time I would notice that he was getting weaker or slower. He sat with me a number of times over the last couple of years and we talked about his health and he was saying how he wanted to get better so he could carry on being in Motorhead and he’d say to me, “I’m paying for the good times because I never thought I’d get this far.”

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