METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett has released the following statement to RollingStone.com regarding the passing of MOTÖRHEAD mainman Lemmy Kilmister:
“Lemmy was the finest of gentlemen.
“Back in 1979, when I was 16 years old, I heard ‘Overkill’ for the first time. I thought it was the fastest thing I’d ever heard, and I declared to all my friends that MOTÖRHEAD were the fastest band in the land.
“When I had first seen pictures of what these guys looked like, I noticed a certain authenticity about them. I imagined they lived the way they looked and looked the way they lived.
“And I remember very distinctly having a realization that moment — I realized that it was okay to be an outsider, and that it was okay to not feel like I had to conform to anything that I objected to in my teenage life, because, clearly, the MOTÖRHEAD guys in this picture looked like they didn’t conform to anything at all, and boy, it sure looked and sounded like they were enjoying themselves as a result. So I got a lot from that pic and that massive sound and that attitude.
“And I have to thank Lemmy, Fast Eddie and also the recently departed Philthy Animal for the inspiration, spark and fire that I felt so strongly from that night in 1979. That inspiration will always be there with me and may the music of MOTÖRHEAD live on!”
MOTÖRHEAD won the “Best Metal Performance” Grammy in 2005 for its cover version of the METALLICA song “Whiplash”.
A 1995 gig at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, members of METALLICA celebrated Lemmy‘s 50th birthday by taking the stage as a wigged tribute band dubbed the LEMMYS.
In a 2011 interview with Metal Insider, Lemmy said: “You can’t top METALLICA. They’re really a fucking excellent band. I’m delighted that they said that I was one of their influences. Like, they have all of their influences, and you can’t hear the influences in them, which is great. They’ve become their own people, and that’s great. I like them a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time with those boys.”