With every celebrity death, there always comes an outpouring of digital grief. Fellow celebs, musicians, and fans all rush to the internet to help make sense of their feelings with a like-minded group of friends and strangers. But the death of Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister just seems bigger than the average digital death cycle and you can see it in the strange ways that the man is being memorialized. Dave Grohl memorialized him permanently with a tattoo, Kirk Hammett of Metallica immediately sent out his thoughts and now Rolling Stone is handing over the reins to fellow rock stars and allowing them the space to wax on about their fallen friend/idol.
Ozzy Osbourne, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello and Lars Ulrich of Metallica are among the few artists that Rolling Stone has granted space to.
Ozzy, who knew Lemmy from his Hawkwind days and toured with the original lineup of the band, talked about Lemmy’s intelligence, legendary partying skills and incredible songwriting ability before coming to this point:
“I’ll miss him so much. We all will. There’s a big hole in the music industry as far as I’m concerned. He was a character. There ain’t many characters in music today. I mean, you’ve got Miley Cyrus, OK, but there’s not many characters in the game anymore. But he was definitely a character. An original. He lived the lifestyle. Sex, drugs and rock & roll, that was Lemmy.You know what? There goes a hero for me. He was my hero.”
Tom Morello said he was inspired by Lemmy’s bass-playing as well as his undeniable authenticity.
“You can’t overstate the degree to which Lemmy was the real deal. He was authentic. There are a lot of guys in bands who drape on the accoutrements of skull and crossbones, but it felt like Lemmy probably was a brigadier general in some sort of heavy metal Harley-Davidson skeleton army.”
Lars Ulrich, the second member of metal titans Metallica to chime in, credited Lemmy for inspiring him to form a band and documented his youthful obsession with the group as he followed the band around California and Europe. Ulrich says Lemmy let the then 16-year-old hang out with them and was ultimately pushed to form Metallica after being allowed to sit in on a session where Motorhead members were writing songs for Iron Fist.
“After I got back, I called [James Hetfield] up and said, “We’ve got to form a band together. I just hung out with Motörhead. I got a chance to meet these guys in Diamond Head. I’m feeling it, this otherworldly calling.” So when I say that Lemmy is the primary reason that I’m in a band to this day, and that Metallica exists because of him, it’s not some cheap exaggeration. It really was. They took me in, they let me be a part of what they were doing, and it inspired James and I to form this band based on that kind of attitude and that kind of aesthetic of engaging with your fans and being open and transparent and letting people in and sharing the experience. We were all just a bunch of lost f*cking kids who wanted to belong to something that was bigger than ourselves.”
Lemmy’s presence was truly felt and will be missed throughout the hard rock world.
(Via Rolling Stone)