Comedian and metalhead Jim Florentine of VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show” paid tribute to iconic MOTÖRHEAD frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister during Jim’s weekly “Comedy Metal Midgets” podcast. You can now listen to the show below.
Lemmy, who just celebrated his 70th birthday on Christmas Eve (December 24), learned two days later that he was afflicted with an aggressive form of cancer. He died on December 28 in Los Angeles.
MOTÖRHEAD was revered by both metal and punk fans, and Lemmy was considered an icon for his musical talent and his embodiment of the rock n’ roll lifestyle.
Lemmy had been dealing with serious health issues for the past two years, including getting a pacemaker in 2013 and suffering from a hematoma in 2014. But despite 40 years of hard living and drinking, he continued to tour and record at a feverish pace.
The band was forced to cancel or postpone a number of shows last year due to Lemmy’s poor health, which also forced him to cut back on his drinking and give up smoking.
While MOTÖRHEAD itself was revered by metal and punk fans, Lemmy himself became a rock and roll icon and elder statesman, the embodiment of a musician who lived the rock lifestyle to the fullest and never stopped.
To the surprise of no one, MOTÖRHEAD will not continue without Lemmy. Drummer Mikkey Dee confirmed the decision in an interview with the Swedish paper Expressen, saying, “MOTÖRHEAD is over, of course. Lemmy was MOTÖRHEAD. But the band will live on in the memories of many.”
Dee, who’d been in the band since 1992, said that the band’s last tour was very difficult for Lemmy. Dee said, “He was terribly gaunt. He spent all his energy on stage and afterwards he was very, very tired. It’s incredible that he could even play, that he could finish the Europe tour. It was only 20 days ago. Unbelievable.”
With their raw, uncompromising sound, MOTÖRHEAD never became a major commercial success, but Lemmy and his cohorts remained a popular live attraction for the next several decades while winning a Grammy in 2005 and recording a total of 22 studio albums. The most edition of the band, featuring guitarist Phil Campbell and Dee, spent 22 years together, releasing its now-final album, “Bad Magic”, last year.