Former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown has paid tribute to Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, saying that the iconic MOTÖRHEAD frontman was the epitome of rock and roll.
During a December 29 appearance on Ozzy’s Boneyard (SiriusXM channel 38), Brown said about Lemmy (hear audio below): “We lost a true legend, man. I was just with him about… I don’t know… About eight weeks ago, we did a tribute to… He won a [Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bass Player Live! concert in Los Angeles], and I really got to spend a lot of quality time with him, and I’m glad I did.”
He continued: “Lemmy is the reason that we’re… As far as my generation… He was the epitome of rock and roll, man, as far as I consider it. It’s terrible loss, but at the same time, what a hell of a… He died with his boots on, man.”
Asked which album was his introduction to MOTÖRHEAD’s music, Brown said: “‘Ace Of Spades’, my friend, in 1980 or 1981. That changed it all for me. I was coming out of high school, or still in high school, and that record changed the whole game for me.”
Brown also talked about the times that PANTERA and MOTÖRHEAD shared the stage. He said: “Countless. I couldn’t even count how many times I played and watched them destroy a crowd of just… Their fans are… they were as rabid as ours were. I mean, just incredible. I can’t say enough about the man, the legend and the leader of our generation. It’s sad.”
Asked if Lemmy appeared to be in bad health when he last saw him at the Bass Player Live! concert in early November, Rex said: “Well, I don’t wanna get into it, because you know what? He’s Lemmy, man. Lemmy’s Lemmy. Lemmy was always… Look, it was ugly fucking rock and roll, man; that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about the pent-up glamor. Was he a little frail? Absolutely. At that age, we’re all gonna be that frail. But he still had the spirit of rock and roll. He had every ounce of that in his system, and he poured it out.”
Lemmy, who 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 two days later, on December 28, at his home in Los Angeles.
Lemmy had dealt with several health issues over the past few years, including heart trouble, forcing him to cut back on his famous smoking and Jack Daniels habits.
The band was forced to cancel a number of shows last year, although they did manage to complete one final European tour on December 11.