Ammended: I year later:
I was one of the first people to find out about the tragic death of Lemmy Kilmister this past Monday.
I was expecting it. A lot of people were. Last I saw of “Lem” was at his 70th birthday at The Whiskey. It was a Hollywood shit show. He didn’t seem to be himself. He was supposed to perform that night, but never took the stage. Despite what is told about the drugs or the Jack n’ Coke permanently affixed to his right hand: Lemmy was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met, even if you couldn’t understand his thick British accent. Something was different that night, as if he’d already left us.
His 70th birthday was a stark contrast to his 69th, which I was also at. It was a relatively low-key event with about 10 people. One was this girl I thought was flirting with me. I didn’t realize utill after she left it was my dream woman: Carmen Electra.
I could say Lemmy was a friend. He knew my name. For a man constantly bombarded by strangers, that’s more than most people can say. Over the past dozen years, we spent hundreds of nights elbow-to-elbow drinking at The Rainbow.
I’ve always been a huge Motorhead fan. My first album was the leather-bound double LP of “No Remorse” which Lemmy later told me “is worth some money” and “he wished he had a copy,” so I gave him mine.
For all of the “Cult-Of-Lemmy”, it didn’t translate into much financially, until much later in his career after being ripped off by countless managers and record labels. It wasn’t until the early 90s that he secured the royalties for many of the songs he’s best known for.
Lemmy was pleasant to everyone even though I felt he was treated like an object of curiosity. If you wanted to get on his bad side, you could be that douchebag jock screaming the “The Ace Of Spades.” He wasn’t too fond of that.
Our paths first crossed almost 20 years ago, backstage at the AVN Awards. I was surrounded by porn stars, but I was most awestruck when Lemmy came strolling through the room.
“Oh my God, you are Lemmy!! What are you doing here?”
He replied, “I love Vegas” and kept walking.
A few years later, I was formally introduced to him by Cory Parks of the band Nashville Pussy, who is about to tour with Motörhead. I was roommates with their drummer Jeremy “Remo” Thompson. I asked him if I could be a groupie and go with them to a few shows in Florida.
After a few days on the road, I got to know the Motörhead guys a bit. After the shows, we would always go on their bus and drink until the sun came up. Lemmy took me aside one night, “Hey mate, I want you to hear the kind of music I really like.” Then he brought me to the front of the bus and played some demo tracks of him doing Chuck Berry songs. The music sounded exactly like the classic 50s, just with Lemmy’s trademark snarl over the top. To be honest, I didn’t really like it.
The next night, while drinking on the bus, he did the exact same thing and took be up to the front of the bus and had me listen to the same songs as if the previous night had never happened. I wasn’t sure if Lemmy didn’t remember or was just fucking with me.
I’m inclined to think the latter.
After a few nights of hanging out with Motörhead, I was hung over as fuck. I was staying at the same hotel as them. The next morning, Lemmy walked through the lobby looking quite spry, probably hadn’t slept, Jack N’ Coke in hand, and asked me, “What are you drinking mate?”
I was drinking a Snapple, but I was kind of embarrassed. I held it up to him.
He quipped, “A Snapple?”
I said, “Yeah, but there’s vodka in it.”
He took it out of my hand, sniffed it, and laughed “There is no vodka in that, it’s just a Snapple!”
I have so many other great Lemmy stories, but that’s my favorite for some reason.
Lemmy packed 7000 years of living into his 70 years on this planet, enriched the lives of millions through his music, and single-handedly invented modern speed metal, whether he’ll take credit for or not.
That all being said, he will be sadly missed.
Valhalla, you have a new bass player.
PS: I’ve said for years that Lemmy’s autobiography “White Line Fever” is the best rock book ever written. For a guy whose career stretches back to being a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, at less than 200 pages, it’s a quick and easy read. I am not just saying that because I’m sponsored by Amazon. Seriously, you should check it out. JQ PS: I’ve said for years that Lemmy’s autobiography “White Line Fever” is the best rock book ever written. For a guy whose career stretches back to being a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, at less than 200 pages, it’s a quick and easy read. I am not just saying that because I’m sponsored by Amazon. Seriously, you should check it out.