The fun thing about Motörhead fans is we can always spot one another. You can just feel it. For such a huge band, they still have a very cult feeling about them. They’re not for everyone, they’re not radio friendly but if you get it, you really fucking get it.
I owe so much of who I am to Motörhead and in turn, Lemmy.
I’m really struggling to find the words.
From my boyfriend who has ‘Born to Lose, Live to Win’ tattooed on his arm, to my best friend who I built a relationship with through mutual love of Motörhead – one of the first things we ever did together was watch the Lemmy documentary-, to the guy I’ve only ever seen in Cathouse, and only ever talk to about Motörhead, to people who I’ve loved and lost that continue to associate me with the band, to the other fans who also religiously went to every Glasgow show to the friends that associate me with, if nothing else, Motörhead and finally, to the time Mikkey Dee gave me free tickets to their show on my birthday… They’re a huge part of who I am. And who I love. They’re not just a band to me, they’re in my DNA, they’ve shaped me.
For a very long time I always knew that there would be a show in November. If nothing else, I was seeing my favourite band in November and if I could just get through the preceding months, it’d all be worth it. For half of my life, they were consistently there. And I can’t imagine who I’d be without them.
Lemmy wasn’t a flashy rockstar really. He had a ‘look’ and he had such an incredible presence but he still lived in a tiny condo. And that was enough. It’s weird seeing people say ‘Lemmy is God’, or I suppose was God because he wasn’t. He didn’t have a godlike presence, he didn’t think himself superior to anyone. He was just a musician. He played rock and roll and treated everybody fairly.
For all the stories that are coming out, there still haven’t been tales of rifts. In fact, Ozzy has said he was everybody’s friend. That’s some feat for a guy that was in the industry for his entire adult life. That’s why I loved him. He was himself, and that was enough. He’s achieved ultimate rockstar status by not giving a fuck about what it is to be a rockstar.
Motörhead were a band for misfits. Lemmy was a misfit, albeit a celebrated one. Motörhead is for the weirdos, the uglies, and even the obnoxious (he actually said that part himself). After 40 years, they were still the ultimate underdog band and for a weirdo like me, they were a salvation.
Motörhead gave me the strength and the confidence to embrace being a weirdo and more than that, they helped me embrace my demons. My anger, my bitterness, my resentfulness didn’t go to waste and that’s because their music, Lemmy, all of it, taught me that these things can drive you to becoming a better person. A shameless person with an appetite for success despite all previous obstacles and baggage. A freak, but a proud freak.
Does that make sense?
I don’t care really.
Lemmy’s health steadily declined over the past couple of years and as a fan, it was hard to see people placing bets on when he’d die, how many shows they’d cancel. What was a running joke for so many people was a sadness in the pit of my stomach. Lemmy couldn’t have given up. His shows kept him going, I completely believe that. And I’m proud of his stubborn approach to performing – he may have lost weight and be slowly dying, but he wouldn’t be going without a fight. Good.
Now that he’s gone, I’m lost. I don’t know if I ought to feel as sad as I do – I didn’t know him personally. I feel sad all the same. I feel like a part of me has gone. My hero has gone and so have Motörhead. No more shows, I’ve seen them play for the last time. And I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, I never would have been.
I had a few drinks with my best friend last night, and came home to notifications from groups that I’m in that are dedicated to the band. My best friend and I mourned, and toasted together and then in my tipsy state, I emotionally spoke to my online Motörhead family who understood my distress.
I’ll miss the gigs, I’ll miss the ears ringing for days at a time, I’ll miss seeing the band together on stage – best friends with beautiful chemistry. I’ll miss the new album releases, I’ll miss Lemmy’s sarcastic responses to interviews. I’ll miss Novembers.
Most of all, I’ll miss Lemmy. I already do. This is a huge loss to fans and the industry.
I have so much more I could say but this was difficult enough.
I’m heartbroken and a little bit lost.
Goodnight Lemmy, and thank you for everything.
(More on me and Motörhead here. Written a few years ago with a clearer mind x)