He inhabited the worlds of wrestling, metal and horror — our holy trio of ineradicable indulgences growing up.
Lemmy Kilmister was, of course, the lead shouter/bassist (and only constant member) of power trio and sonic equivalent of a riding mower, Motorhead (about whom he once said: they were the “dirtiest rock’n’roll band in the world. If you moved in next door, your lawn would die”). He wielded a punk metal buzzsaw bass that caused subterranean rumbles and tinnitus in equal measure.
Lemmy has been called “heavy metal personified [in] a single person.” We can’t find the original source of this quote, which may be as mythic as Kilmister’s crazy life. Regardless of its provenance, it’s damn true.
Best known for Ace of Spades, Born to Raise Hell, The Chase is Better than the Catch and of course, the aforementioned Killed by Death, Motorhead had been ripping out ferocious metal since 1977. They were led by the Staffordshire maniac Lemmy (Born Ian Fraser Kilmister) and the band’s best songs (Jailbait, [We are] The Road Crew, Overkill and Iron Fist) shred speakers.
The band crossed into the squared circle as well.
The WWE, long known for cornball musical intros like The Hulkster’s “Real American” or Koko B Ware’s “Do the Bird”, got its bell rung when Motorhead bestowed on buddy Triple H, a real arena shaker for the wrestler’s entrance music: The Game.
Motorhead even rocked Wrestlemania in 05, providing the WWE a shot in the arm — nothing steroid related — raw credibility.
Say what you will about Triple H, (that whole “nothing nice” and whatnot) he did strike up an unusual friendship with Lemmy.
The longest-running independent film studio in North America, Uncle Lloyd’s baby is best known for churning out and distributing decidedly non-PC horror films chock-a-block with nudity, relentless violence and nauseating gore, and these are a few of our favorite things.
Many dismiss Troma films as grade-D shlock, but in doing so they overlook the sly social commentary and biting satire underlying many of its offerings (please see our podcast and review of Poultrygeist).
Lemmy appeared in a number of Troma-tastic films including Terror Firmer and Citizen Toxie. He never asked for a single red-cent for appearing in any one of them. Instead, his only two requests were a bottle of Maker’s Mark and two “Tromettes” to chat up during filming. How rock ‘n’ roll is THAT?
His most memorable turn was in what is arguably Troma’s best flick, Tromeo and Juliet. In this twisted punk adaptation of the Bard, Lemmy serves as the narrator, spouting iambic pentameter in his own inimitable mole-y, marble-mouthed way.
We like to think he’s keeping up the bottom end with Phil Lynott on the other side, shrieking along with Mitch Mitchell’s beat and trading riffs with Randy Rhodes or Jeff Hanneman.
Lemmy sang, “it’s all about your debt and if you can pay it. It’s all about pain and who’s gonna make it,” and truthfully, it’s lucky he made it this far with his slew of health problems and years of self-abuse.
A big thanks to the man, the myth and the monolith.
Your music lives on you filthy bastard, or as one of our Twitter buds called him, the “Conan the Barbarian of Rock ‘n’ Roll.”