The death of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister rocked the music world last week, and in some ways it was a fitting end. A controversial figure, the English musician was part-rockstar and part-hellraiser. I mean, take the fact that for over four decades he consumed a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey each day. Each. Day. He only stopped because he was diagnosed with diabetes. To be fair to him, he didn’t just stop drinking because of the diagnosis, but he did make some amendments. He traded that bottle of JD for a bottle of vodka, because you know, it’s healthier.
A Lemmy obituary unlike any other
While the world was still grieving losing such an iconic rockstar, The Times got to work on their obituary for Lemmy. And this past weekend they released it. And let me tell you, it was utterly immense. Take for example, this excerpt:
He was fired from Hawkwind in 1975 after being arrested in Canada for possession of cocaine. It was the excuse the group had been looking for and Lemmy laughed at the memory of being thrown out of “the world’s most cosmic band for getting busted”. While his former bandmates continued their North American tour, Lemmy returned to Britain and systematically set about sleeping with their wives and girlfriends. He claimed success with all but one of them.
I love that detail. The story goes that his other band members wanted him out by any means possible and so sought a reason to fire him. They focused on the fact that they liked taking LSD and he was more of a cocaine man. The arrest was the excuse they needed. But in a twist that was made for the big screen, Lemmy went back to England to screw their significant others. How beautifully nefarious is that?
The makings of a man
More than that, though, were the other details to Lemmy’s life that made him such a revered man, as much as a rockstar.
The drug intake was on a similarly industrial scale, involving lines of amphetamine sulphate and cocaine that laid end to end would have stretched for many miles. “He’s a living, breathing, drinking and snorting legend. No one else comes close,” said Dave Grohl, of Nirvana and later the Foo Fighters — both acts influenced by Motörhead’s innovative faster heavy metal.
Alongside the trials and tribulations of Kilmister’s rockstar days, the obituary doesn’t forget the journey that got him there. Including the trauma of his father leaving his mother when he was still young, and also having to put his son up for adoption when he was still a teenager. You can read the entire obituary here. When you’re done, raise a shot of JD for Lemmy and wish him a good afterlife with Jimi et al.