Built For Speed (Lemmy Kilmister 1945 – 2015)

Shortly after Christmas, the news broke. Lemmy Kilmister, better know as simply Lemmy had passed way. He hadn’t been in the best of health, but still. Death is never easy.

Lemmy has quite a history. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with his legend. His tenure as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix was only a glimpse of what to come. As a member of Hawkwind, he was the vocalist on one of their most popular songs, “Silver Machine.” When booted for drug possession charges on the Canadian boarder, he decided to form his own unit titled Bastard. Of course, Bastard gave way to the Heavy Metal legend that was to be known as Motorhead.

Lemmy

Motorhead helped bridged the gap between the new Punk Rock scene with the new wave of early ’80s British Metal. At the end of the day, Motorhead was pure rock n’ roll. It didn’t matter what sub-genre.

Personally speaking, I forgot how I’ve first heard of Motorhead. Didn’t matter. Who can ever forget the band’s appearance on that UK comedy “The Young Ones.”

I was lucky to have seen Motorhead live, seeing a quick set during the ’90s. At that point their classic album ‘Ace of Spades’ was already a part of my music collection. While I wasn’t their biggest fan, I owned a few albums by them. It was known that Mr. Kilmister was legendary.

Never did get to meet him, but from what others said about him, he was an extremely nice guy. Despite the reputation for partying, boozing and womanizing, he always had time to touch base with his many fans. Which just goes to show you – when you’re doing what you want to do in life, happiness does follow.

So it was still disheartening to hear of Lemmy’s death. In a world where everything is slowly becoming more conservatively contrived, his death was almost symbolic. You see, Lemmy in a way was a symbol of personal freedom.

Then of course, the blow worsen when the world learned about David Bowie’s death two weeks after Lemmy’s. That’s a whole other subject, which I’ll discuss in another blog post.

What struck me after Lemmy’s death was this. I learned that despite the supposed ‘womanizing’, he respected women. I read this blog the other night, by a former member of local NYC late 80’s band Cycle Sluts From Hell. In this entry, she talks about her friendship with Lemmy. So underneath it all, he was more of a gentleman than most men you meet.

I could go on, but there’s a Jack and Coke waiting for me. Here’s a toast for Lemmy. Hopefully he’s raising much needed hell in the afterlife.

LemmyWendyOnline478

Quick sketch of Lemmy Kilmister and Plasmatics lead singer Wendy O Williams. When they dueted on the cover “Stand By Your Man” back in 1982. Pen and ink sketch by Michele Witchipoo, Jan. 2016.

 

 

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