Lemmy , founding member of metal band Motorhead, has died at his home in Los Angeles, aged 70, after a short battle with an aggressive form of cancer.
Kilmister was the principal songwriter and lead vocalist for Motorhead, as well as former member of Hawkwind.
His manager Todd Singerman revealed that Lemmy went to hospital two days after his 70th birthday party at the Los Angeles club Whisky A Go Go club on December 13 because he was feeling unwell.
Singerman stated that Lemmy underwent numerous tests after which doctors discovered he had terminal cancer that had spread to his brain and gave him two to six months to live.
Born Ian Fraser Kilmister in Staffordshire, England in 1945, Lemmy allegedly got his nickname from the phrase “Lemmy a quid ’til Friday”due to his habit of borrowing money from friends.
Lemmy founded Motorhead in 1975 after being fired from previous band Hawkwind, following his arrest at the Canadian border for possessing cocaine, causing the band to cancel some dates on their US tour.
The Grammy-award winning Motorhead, perhaps best known for their single ‘Ace Of Spades,’ released a statement on Tuesday on their official Facebook page confirming the bassist’s death.
“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 its 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. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.
HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.
Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, 1945 -2015
Born to lose, lived to win.”
Kilmister’s death comes just over a month after the death of Motorhead drummer Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor at age 61 on November 11.
Lemmy was well known for his hard living lifestyle, regular consumption of alcohol and amphetamines and his controversial collection of Nazi memorabilia.
Renowned British rock writer Charles Shaar Murray wrote on his Facebook page that he “always regarded Lemmy as one of rock’s three Grand Indestructibles, alongside Wilko and Lord Keef. A while back we lost Mick Farren, a good buddy of both Lemmy and Wilk (who came about as close as it gets) and we ALMOST mislaid Wilko. So watch out, Keef …”
“My favourite Lemmy memories (Lemmories?),” continues Murray, “include him regularly visiting the old NME office in Long Acre to sell some of us our speed (anyone who remembers those issues can gauge how much business he did), and a running conversation we often had at Dingwalls. We’d meet up at the bar and he’d say, ‘The NME’s fucking great, but why do you have so much fucking politics in it?’
I’d explain that the paper wasn’t just about the music, but about what the music was about … and he’d say, ‘I get it … i don’t agree, but I get it.’ Then we’d have the exact same convo a couple of weeks later because he’d forgotten it. Still, he always bought the booze … and next day in the office I’d chuck a few quid onto my expenses: DRINKS WITH LEMMY, DINGWALLS.”
Lemmy was known to frequent Melbourne’s iconic Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane when the band was on your in Australia. Owner James Young told The Age that he was ‘devastated’ by the news of Lemmy’s death.
“This is an unbelievably sad day for rock and roll,” Young said. “He’s one of the greatest rock heroes of all time and sadly no one can possibly fill the void he leaves.”
“He was absolutely one of a kind. The guy was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, played in the loudest rock and roll band for 40 years and just did it his own way the whole way.
“To lose [Easybeats frontman] Stevie Wright and Lemmy in two days… I’m just shattered”.
Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne posted the following tribute on Twitter: “Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.”
Metallica posted on their Facebook page: “Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists. We are forever grateful for all of your inspiration. Rest In Peace.”
Alice Cooperb posted: “He was innovative, true to his art and continually relevant even though he never cared about being relevant. He was always creating and redefining hard rock and the role of bass within it. Offstage, he was a gem. I can’t think of anyone who didn’t adore Lemmy. He was such an original character in rock, and I will truly miss seeing him out on the road.”