Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Remembered During Emotional Service
Friends both famous and of the every-day variety paid a final tribute to Lemmy Kilmister during an tear-filled memorial service held Saturday (Jan. 9) in Los Angeles.
Speakers included final Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee; Rob Halford of Judas Priest; Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo of Metallica; Slash and Matt Sorum of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver fame, the latter of whom once subbed as a tour drummer with Motorhead; and, finally, Dave Grohl.
Others who shared remembrances included Scott Ian of Anthrax; wrestler Triple H, who used Motorhead for his intro music; and Mike Inez of Alice in Chains; Bob Kulick, who co-produced Motorhead's Grammy-winning cover of "Whiplash" by Metallica; Kilmister's son Paul, with whom he reunited in middle age after decades apart; Todd Singerman, manager of Motorhead; some drinking buddies, crew and band assistants, and other close friends.
"We all know he wouldn't stand for anything formal or somber," Singerman said. "We all know how he hoped to be remembered – very warmly. And Lem, believe me, it's very warm."
In keeping, each guest paid tribute to Kilmister with great humor, honesty and no small amount of profanity, all in front of a tower of Lemmy's signature Marshall amps and countless flowers – including one arrangement in the shape of the ace of spades. A classic-era photo of Motorhead sat centerstage near a hand-crafted urn filled with Kilmister's ashes; above that was a smaller shot of the band's most recent lineup. Lemmy's boots were also part of the special tribute area.
"He was such a f–ing great example of what most of my peers all want to be – somebody who is true to his school ... straight-up honest, 100 percent loyal," Slash said. "I just loved the guy a lot, and I miss him a lot. But all things considered, he did live his life the way that he wanted to."
Watch Lemmy's Entire Memorial Service
Kilmister died on Dec. 28 after battling a growing list of ailments. The memorial service was reportedly scheduled to have taken place at Rainbow Bar and Grill, which has long served as Lemmy's off-tour haunt, but instead appeared to be broadcast from a church or funeral home chapel.
"I miss you already, Lemmy," Dee said. "I miss our arguments, and our hard work in the studio and on the road. It was so much fun, and I will miss it forever. ... Try to take it a little easier on the other side. Rest in peace. See you soon."
Dee added that final Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell couldn't make the service, but shared his condolences; Ugly Kid Joe's Whitfield Crane read a statement from Campbell, as well. At any given time, more than 250,000 people were streaming the services live. "So much love!" Halford marveled, before beginning his prepared remarks.
Ulrich stressed again how there would have been no Metallica without Lemmy and Motorhead, while Grohl read a lyric from Little Richard, whom they both admired. Kilmister's son Paul appeared in what looked to be one of his dad's signature hats, and shared some of the event's most personal stories. "My father never had a stage persona," Paul said. "He was Lemmy, all the time."
The memorial ended in a shower of feedback, as Kilmister's vibrating bass was placed against the Marshall stacks. "Lemmy," Singerman announced, "has left the building."
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