Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister Last of a Dying Breed
by Jody Haskins for The Laguna Spectator
I have spent over a week thinking about how to provide the most respectful send off to a true rock and roll legend, Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister. I have listened to every Motorhead song possible this week. I also watched 5 hours of Lemmy Kilmister and Motorhead documentaries on YouTube.
Lemmy Kilmister may have been one of the last real men on planet Earth. He made no apologies for what he thought and what he believed. He also was not afraid to let you know what he refused to believe. Lemmy was a rock and roll God who partied to the end. His daily routine for almost 50 years consisted of a wide variety of drugs plus 40 Marlboro Red’s and a liter of Jack Daniels, one triple Jack and Coke at a time. When the doctors suggested that vodka and orange juice might be better for him, he just switched to a liter of vodka one triple vodka screwdriver at a time every day until the end. Lemmy Kilmister is damn near the last of a dying breed, hippie, anti-establishment free spirit. Lemmy was like many other rock stars who had gone before him, the only difference being that he outlasted them all except for Ozzy Osbourne and Keith Richards. Many others tried to live life like Lemmy but failed. They ended up dead their 20s or 30s. Men such as John Bonham, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and even John Belushi. These men were determined to squeeze every last drop of fun out of every day. For these guys, rock and roll, women, heavy amounts of drugs and alcohol make every day fun and exciting instead of a life filled with the drudgery of just surviving or working and living just to pay bills. Lemmy was a God because unlike Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and so many others, he lived as they did and yet he survived to the ripe old age of 70. He played his last concert on December 11, 2015 and followed that up with a huge birthday bash. He never curtailed his lifestyle for anybody. Lemmy was never influenced by fashion or trends, he was eccentric and an avid collector of World War 1 & World War II memorabilia. He had a passion for playing rock and roll and he pursued his dreams his entire life. Lemmy was relentless and persistent in his pursuit of those dreams. Album followed by tour followed by album and so it went for over 50 years until the end.
Men like Lemmy are not designed for a mundane, boring life of drudgery, it is not in their DNA. They are arrogant, determined, persistent and strong willed. They will never apologize for anything to anybody. They will only live life on their terms and tolerate no compromise in the pursuit of their dreams and the ability to live life the way they choose. Motorhead released their only mainstream hit in November 1980 ‘Ace of Spades’, but other than that, mainstream success and money eluded Lemmy and Motorhead. That did not deter Lemmy one bit, as long as he got to play rock and roll for a living he was happy. When Motorhead took the stage, Lemmy would tell the audience loud and proud. “We are Motorhead and we play rock and roll!” He would also leave the audience with the same proclamation. When Lemmy was not on stage or in the recording studio, he loved to go to strip clubs. Watching the strippers was Lemmy’s other passion.
Even when Lemmy found out he had cancer and only two to six months to live Lemmy took it in stride. His buddies at the local pub moved his favorite video game to his house. Within a few days of his diagnosis Lemmy died. He went out with a drink, a smoke and playing his favorite game. The only thing that could have been better would have been if he died onstage.
What lesson can we take from Lemmy’s life and death? Some may say that the lesson is party all you want and be ready to go when it is your time. That might be part of the lesson but I think the bigger lesson we can all take from Lemmy is to never surrender to the pressure to be ordinary. Get up everyday and pursue your passions with everything you have. If doubt or worry ever enter your mind, resist them with all your might. We all come into this world with nothing and we all leave with nothing. It is the quality of what we do in between that matters. If we measure a life on that scale, Lemmy scored a 10 out of 10. So when you think about your new years resolutions remember Lemmy and just like Lemmy, never give up.
I could write all night about Lemmy but I decided to share a documentary about Lemmy that I found on YouTube. It is very informative and entertaining. Enjoy and Peace!. Jody.