Lemmy Kilmister, whose real name was Ian Fraser Kilmister, passed away at the age of 70 at his home. The BBC, Dec. 28, 2015, reports that the cause of death was cancer. He allegedly was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer on December 26, just two days before he passed away.
Lemmy was the front man and founder of the musical group “Motorhead,” which in US slang language, means someone who is on or uses speed and they are one of the loudest bands in rock music. He was born Dec. 24, 1945, in Burslem, Staffordshire to a father who was formerly a chaplain in the Royal Air Force. When Lemmy was three-months-old, his parents divorced, but when he was 10 years old, his mother remarried and they moved to north Wales.
Lemmy learned he had cancer while at home, sitting in front of the television set, playing a video game with his family. Although the news about his having cancer was sudden, Lemmy was plagued with a number of health issues including a hematoma and an irregular heartbeat which was corrected by a defibrillator implanted in his body. Many of his health problems were allegedly caused by alcohol, drugs, and hard living.
Lemmy had a number of jobs before he went into music, including working at a washing machine factory. His first band, “The Rockin’ Vickers,” released three singles. After that, he was a roadie with Jimi Hendrix, and then he moved on to playing in the band “Opal Butterfly. From there, he started playing rhythm guitar with the band Hawkwind in 1972. Unfortunately, his career did not last long with Hawkwind because he was arrested for drug possession in 1975 while on tour in Canada.
When he was released, he formed his own band, Motorhead, so no one could ever fire him again. He found the road to stardom was not an easy one. United Artists refused to release some of his songs because they felt the music was horrible. Then, he had to change several band members Lucas Fox, their drummer and Larry Wallis, their guitarist.
In 1977, the band decided to go their separate ways and they held their last show at The Marquee. However, a record producer attended their show and he liked what he heard and saw, so he offered them the chance to record a single. But it didn’t end with a single, as they went on to produce their first album, “Motorhead” with 13 tracks.
The Motorhead members posted on their official Facebook page, “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 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. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself. HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lemmy’s family, friends, and fans. Although, Lemmy Kilmister will be missed by many, his music will live on.