Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister was born on Christmas Eve 1945 In Staffordshire, England. He professionally became known as Lemmy. The name started from a young age, due to the fact he was often borrowing money to play slot machines, using the expression “lemmy” for “lend me”.In the early sixties, he saw the Beatles play the Cavern Club & loved the attitude of the band, especially John Lennon’s sarcasm. While still in school, he saw a boy bring in a guitar & noticed all the girls surround him. He quickly bought a guitar to meet girls & then soon learned to play the Beatles- “Please Please Me”.
Lemmy would play in many bands in England the sixties, most famously the Rocking Victors. He soon moved to London & got a job working as a roadie for non-other than Jimi Hendrix. For a while he shared a London Flat with Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist, Noel Redding. In the early seventies Lemmy joined the space rock group; Hawkwind & sang lead on their biggest song “Silver Machine”.
After Hawkwind he formed the legendary Heavy Metal band; Motohead. The group’s original name was to be “Bastard” but his manager convinced him that name would never get radio airplay. The name Motorhead came from a Hawkwind song he had written on the group’s last album.The classic MotorHead line up consisted of Lemmy on bass & vocals, Fast Eddie Clarke on guitars & Phil the Philthy Animal Taylor on drums. A classic trio just like the Jimi Hendrix Expierence! The current Motorhead line up of Lemmy, Phil Campbell & Mikkey Dee have remained intact for twenty years, since 1995.
Motorhead were unique for that time, becoming pioneers in Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal & the Punk Rock scene as well. Lemmy has said he felt a closer kinship to punk rockers & speed metal bands than with Metalheads. But he always insisted Motorhead were foremost just a rock & roll band. Motorhead has sold over 30 million albums worldwide & the band continued to tour successfully for forty years, until recently.
|Lemmy with Doro Pesch|
|Lemmy with Joan Jett|
Lemmy was also on the forefront of accepting & helping promote women in the heavy metal genre, as he has collaborated with one of the first all-girl hard rock bands; Girlschool, as well as Doro Pesche , Wendy O Williams of the Plasmatics, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Jill Janus of Huntress & the band Crucified Barbara.
Lemmy kept a modest two bedroom apartment off the sunset strip in Hollywood, just two blocks away from his favorite hangout -The Rainbow Bar & Grill. My cousin & got to see Motorhead intimate & up front, in your face at the Rainbow back in 1998. It was awesome to be standing right in front of the great Kilmister!
|Lemmy with Kim McAuliffe & |
Jackie Chambers of Girlschool
|Lemmy with Jill Janus of Huntress|
|Lemmy with Kat Von D|
|Lemmy with Lita Ford|
Lemmy lived the rock star life to its fullest, with excesses in both the good & bad. He drank, smoked & partied every day, with a special love for Jack Daniels, LSD & amphetamines, right up until his death.
He was also a rock star sex legend, claiming to have slept with over 1200 women. When Maxim magazine claimed he bedded 2000 women, Lemmy downplayed it saying well I’ve never been married, so 1200 sounds more about right.
Trivia: In 2010 a documentary film titled; Lemmy was made about his life. Although not a believer in fascism or Nazi’s he was a collector of German military regalia.
In 2013, his health really started to deteriorate with a number of health issues. He suffered from an irregular heartbeat & was fitted with a defibrillator.
He had joked that he had switched from whiskey to vodka due to his health. He actually did cut down on his beloved jack Daniels & coke, to reduce his sugar intake & quit smoking after 57 years of the habit.Quotes: “Apparently I am still indestructible. As long as I can walk the few yards from the back to the front of the stage without a stick, or even if I do have to use a stick.”
Motorhead has issued the following statement:
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 learned of the disease on 26 December, 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.