Although it’s been a few years since I last really listened to Motorhead, they were one of the first three bands – alongside Iron Maiden and Judas Priest – that really got me into the heavy metal genre when I was a teenager.
They were loud, fast and just badass in every possible way. There are at least a couple of parts of my teenage life that I can’t remember without an accompanying soundtrack by Motorhead.
When I read the news about Lemmy’s death earlier today, it didn’t quite feel real. It still doesn’t. There was something about him that just seemed immortal. He was a fearless larger-than-life character who, like all great people, realised that life was meant to be enjoyed. He’s the kind of person who, even though I never actually met him or even saw him perform live, can never really be forgotten. There was only one Lemmy Kilmister and there can be only one Lemmy Kilmister.
Although he clearly wasn’t immortal, it still seems like he is for so many reasons. Many of his best songs contain lines about staring death defiantly in the eyes, and he lived to the grand old age of seventy (which is probably something like 700 in classic rockstar years).
He seemed like kind of guy who lived every day like it was his last and did many enjoyable things (that modern killjoys whinge about endlessly) for many decades, and yet he was mostly perfectly fine until his last moments.
Although he unfortunately couldn’t cheat death, it’s strangely hard to feel sad about his death for the simple reason that – if life is a game – then he won it. The sheer awesomeness of his life and his music kind of meant that he did cheat death.
It’s easier to feel happy about the awesome music he made, the badass life that he led and the sheer uniqueness of who he was than it is to feel sad about his death. His death is shocking, but it doesn’t feel tragic for the simple reason that he left his imprint on the world in a way that few people do. He became an idea, a symbol, a legend. And legends never die.
Anyway, I hope he found meaning in his life – he certainly found joy and awesomeness in his life. And I hope that he’s having one hell of a party in heaven, or in valhalla – or that he reincarnates as someone even more awesome. \m/