Mikkey Dee’s Sadness Over Last Moment with Lemmy
Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee describes his final moment with bandmate Lemmy Kilmister as “very sad,” because he didn’t know they’d never meet again.
The pair spoke for the last time backstage after what turned out to be their final show, which was held on Dec. 11, 2015 in Germany. Kilmister didn’t realize he was suffering from cancer at the time, and he died 17 days later at age 70.
Dee said he and guitarist Phil Campbell discussed Kilmister’s health as the first leg of their latest tour came to an end. They “were trying to talk him out of starting the second part,” he said to Waste Some Time with Jason Green, “but there was no way in hell we could do that.
“I said to Phil, ‘Look, instead of arguing with Lemmy or pushing him. … Let him decide what he wants to do. He knows best what he wants to do,’” Dee said. “and he wanted to be on stage. So we said, ‘Let's just support him instead,’ and that's what we did. But we never made it to the second leg of that European tour, unfortunately.”
He recounted his last words to Kilmister following the Berlin concert, which included a discussion about changing the part of their set list that covered Motorhead's latest album Bad Magic. “We were all gonna go separate ways. I was gonna just fly out to Sweden, and Phil went back home to Wales,” Dee said. “Lemmy was flying back to L.A., but I believe he was gonna fly to London and stay one night or two or so and say ‘hi’ to friends and then fly back home.
“I went down to Lemmy’s dressing room, and I said, ‘Alright, go back to L.A. and figure out, maybe, another two songs from Bad Magic that you think that we should do. And we take out the two songs that we already played on this leg, and we put in two new songs from the record.' And he said, 'Yeah, alright, I’ll check that out.' And I said, 'Let's hook up after Christmas' – because it was the 11th of December at that time, and I figured we'd talk between Christmas and New Year's Eve. … And he said, 'Yeah, I'll go back and work on that.’
“So we did a little finger-hook, as we always did,” Dee said, “and that was the last time I saw him, actually. Very sad.”
When asked if he’d known it would be their final meeting, Dee replied: “No, not at all.” He said that Kilmister had made changes to his lifestyle in recent years to address his failing health, but “my personal belief is that it was maybe a little too late,” Dee added.
“He should have maybe changed a little earlier, but knowing Lemmy, he was not for that,” Dee said. “He never compromised with his music; he never compromised with friendship. He never compromised with what way he was gonna go for anyone else in that way, which is why Motorhead was Motorhead – and still is Motorhead.”
Listen to Mikkey Dee's Interview
Final Albums: 41 of Rock's Most Memorable Farewells
Remembering Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister