The music world lost one of its true great baddasses when Ian Frasier Kilmister, known to scores of fans by his eponymous nickname Lemmy of Motörhead, passed away suddenly from cancer on December 28th. The shockwave felt with from announcement of his death at age 70 on social media, and then confirmation by the band was heartbreaking for many who followed his career of nearly five decades. Although he has struggled with health issues the last few years, Motörhead was last seen on tour in Europe three weeks earlier, supporting their recent new album Bad Magic (UDR). One of the most enduring sounds in rock music, the obscenely loud volume of the bands’ live backline, unmatched by any band in any genre, will never be heard again. Continue reading →
As news spreads via social media of the sudden passing of music legend Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motörhead, personalities across the spectrum of entertainment have taken the time to reflect and share memories. VH1/Sirius XM Radio host Eddie Trunk first broke the news in a series of Tweets:
Ozzy Osbourne was the first close friend of Lemmy’s to tweet his feelings and condolences, followed by others:
As confirmed by the band, Lemmy who has just turned 70 years old on Christmas eve, was diagnosed on December 26th with “an extremely aggressive form of cancer,” though no specifics beyond that have been released as yet.
Crushing news coming in at this hour that Motörhead’s indomitable leader Lemmy Kilmister has died at age 70. Lemmy had just turned 70 years old on Christmas Eve. Although the band has not confirmed it officially at this time, VH1/Sirius XM host Eddie Trunk released the news online. Trunk and Lemmy were said to be close. Scores of artists have taken to social media to share their grief.No cause of death has been cited yet, but he had dealt with health issues for several years that caused the cancellation of tours and for the first time in the bands history, halted performances. Still, Lemmy along with Motörhead ‘s reputation in the annals of rock, punk, and metal were cemented with over 40 years of great releases and epic touring schedules. The band had toured extensively this year, promoting the August release of their latest album Bad Magic (UDR). We will update with more news as it comes in, and we wish his family, friends and fans our condolences at this time.
UPDATE: The band has released a statement confirming Lemmy’s passing:
There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.
We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.
We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few.
Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.
HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.
Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister
Born to lose, lived to win.
There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely…
Mid way through their 40 year Anniversary tour, Motörhead, along with supporting tour mates Anthrax and Crobot, made the only New England appearance in Wallingford, Connecticut. I don’t very often go to shows in CT because there aren’t many shows there or at least not ones that I have an interest in. Since the now well publicized health issues of the one and only Lemmy, there wasn’t much of a chance that I was going to miss an opportunity to see the band on what could be, I hate to say, their last run.
Pennsylvania’s Crobot, opened up the evening and hit the stage at 7:30, much earlier than the venues stated start time of 8pm. Playing their brand of retro styled rock for a quick thirty minutes, they went through about half of their new album ‘Something Supernatural’ and was mostly received well.
Clockwise from Left/front: Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Joey Belladonna, Jon Donias
After a relatively quick stage change, the legendary Anthrax was up next. For the most part their set hasn’t drastically changed in years and their “party time” thrash always goes over well with a crowd. The only surprise on the set list was Black Sabbath’s tune ‘Neon Nights’ which they covered on the tribute album, Ronnie James Dio – This is Your Life. Quite honestly I wasn’t sure how it would sound live but they pulled it off perfectly. Joey Belladonna sounds just as good as he did 30 years ago. Maybe he made a deal with the devil but he, and the entire band actually, sounded better than any of the times I have seen them in the last five years. After the Sabbath song, they changed out the banners which would now adorn the faces of Ronnie James Dio on one side of the stage and Dimebag Darrell on the other for ‘In the End,’ which was dedicated to them both. The banners changed back for the anthemic ‘Indians,’ which was to be the finale. Joey said they will have a new record out in 2016 so I’m sure Anthrax fans will be eager to get their hands on that.
After much anticipation, and maybe some trepidation, Mikkey Dee, Phil Campbell and Lemmy Kilmister walked onto the stage to screams and chants from the crowd. With the famous quote from Lemmy, “We are Motörhead and we play rock n’ roll,” they went right into ‘No Class.’ The support from the crowd was palpable as Lemmy did his damnedest to power through a set full of classics like ‘Ace of Spades,’ ‘Bomber,’ ‘Metropolis,’ and ‘Stay Clean,’ to name a few. Different from previous shows of theirs Phil Campbell was very talkative, taking to the mic between songs, and very animated during them as if he was doing everything he could to amp up the crowd. Each tune was noticeably slower and in the beginning it seemed that Lemmy was having a hard time keeping up. That was heartbreaking. His voice was clearly weak. As the set progressed things fell more closely into place though. That being said, with the health issues he is obviously fighting and the all too recent show in Austin, Texas where he had to stop playing altogether, I would have to say I was surprised how well he did. Lemmy really is a fighter and it is clear he is not slowing down. If it was anyone else I’m sure they would have given up and crawled into some hole instead of going on tour. Not Lemmy. He needs the crowd maybe as much and they need him. Maybe more. His tenacity proves he is in it for the long haul and is in it until the end. I truly hope he regains some strength back and that the end is far in the future. In any case, the crowd supported him through all of it. Motörhead fans are tenacious as well and won’t likely give up on Lemmy. They will, and should, go to their shows and support everything they do. I mean, it’s Motörhead. That’s what you do.
“Victory or Die!” roars Lemmy Kilmister to launch the twenty-second album of Motörhead’s long, storied and legendary forty-year career. Coming into Bad Magic (UDR GmbH) on the back of one of their most successful albums of recent years, the opener is an archetypical ‘headbanger, all punked up rock n’ roll, with the Ace of Spades barking out “Who knows what the fuck it’s all about?!” in his distinctive voice.
Producer Cameron Webb has done a great job in capturing an energetic quasi-retrospective live rock sound with Mikkey Dee his usual pounding, driving self, launching ‘Shoot Out All Your Lights’ – a track with recalls the bands triumphant Bastards and Sacrifice (SPV/Steamhammer) combo of the 90’s – with a trademark thunderous fill, while Phil Campbell does indeed bring the bad magic; his frenetic bluesy lead-work squealing, his rhythm chops chunky on the beefed up blitzkrieg bop of ‘Electricity’, and his riffs bringing the dirty boogie on ‘When The Sky Comes Looking For You’.
There are only two types of Motörhead albums; good ones and great ones and there is no shame at all that this falls into the former category. A wholly enjoyable album, nonetheless it does lack strength in song-writing depth, despite the mentioned highlights, along with the years and health scares being obvious in a frailer sounding Lemmy. However, this has to be tempered with understanding, and this doesn’t mean the great man isn’t still capable of rolling back the years, as his filthy bass kicks off ‘Teach Them How To Bleed’, a track with recalls ‘Iron Fist’, and he’s at his gravel-toned best on the ‘Born To Raise Hell’-ish ‘Firestorm Hotel’.
If, as expected, Bad Magic does prove to be their parting studio shot it’ll leave the Motörheadbangers satisfied. While not their strongest outing, nonetheless it contains everything that is, and always will be, Motörhead; a selection of songs that are an undeniably distinctive speedball mix of middle-finger-up rock n’ fucking roll.
Lemmy may have switched from bourbon to vodka for his health, but the song, of course, remains resolutely and unashamedly the same.
01. Victory Or Die 02. Thunder & Lightning 03. Fire Storm Hotel 04. Shoot Out All Of Your Lights 05. The Devil 06. Electricity 07. Evil Eye 08. Teach Them How To Bleed 09. Till The End 10. Tell Me Who To Kill 11. Choking On Your Screams 12. When The Sky Comes Looking For You 13. Sympathy For The Devil (The Rolling Stones cover)