One of the most recognizable and colorful faces in heavy metal is no longer with us. Lemmy Kilmister, founder of proto-metal legends Motörhead, passed away earlier this evening at the age of 70. Though there were reports of recent health issues and a series of canceled performances, I don’t think anyone expected such a tragic end to come so soon.
Lemmy was a veritable metal institution, from his early days with space rock pioneers Hawkwind, to his 22 albums of raucous, noisy and confrontational music with Motörhead, Lemmy was influential in helping shape the sound of what would come to be known as heavy metal. In the process he earned legions of fans spanning several generations. It was this very ability to transcend age and appeal to young and old metal fans alike that made him such an icon and a truly one of a kind personality.
The metal world will be a lesser place without Lemmy’s rattlesnake smile and bullfrog croaks, and it will certainly be a quieter one too. Put simply, he was metal and he’ll be sorely missed. At least he made sure to leave behind a lot of ass kicking music to remember him by, and for that we should all be thankful. Toast a few in his memory and play “Ace of Spades” loud enough to shake your goddamn windows.
Godspeed, Mr. Kilmister. Rest well.