Kirk Hammett Wrote A Letter Paying His Respects To Lemmy

Lemmy Kilmister
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The music world is still reeling from the tragic — and sudden — death of Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister, who passed away on Monday from an aggressive form of cancer at the age of 70. The latest musician to pay respects to Lemmy is Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who released a statement exclusively to Rolling Stone. In it, he described the feeling he had when he first heard Motörhead and the kinship he felt with the band:

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 OK to be an outsider and that it was OK 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.

To be sure, Motörhead could be viewed as a big inspiration on Metallica. Their speed metal sound played a major role in helping Metallica forge their signature thrash style. The band often covered Motörhead’s music, and on their 1998 covers compilation Garage Inc., they covered Motörhead classics “Overkill,” “Damage Case,” “Stone Dead Forever,” and “Too Late Too Late.” Hammett’s words were part of a joint statement released by several hard rock/metal musicians, including Rage Against the Machine, Alice Cooper, and Flea. You can read the letter in full here.

(Via Rolling Stone)