Remembering Lemmy –
The True Ace of Spades

Source: Motörhead via Facebook

The world of rock and roll was dealt a mighty blow when Lemmy Kilmister was pronounced dead in December 2015. The iconic front man of Motörhead sadly passed away due to a combination of prostate cancer, heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia. However, the legacy he left behind can still be heard echoing around the musical universe to this day.

Motörhead are often cited as having the loudest concerts ever (they even have an album called Everything Louder Than Everyone Else), and this is a fitting metaphor for how Lemmy lived his life. The bass-playing Brit was pure rock n’ roll. There was never too much sex, drugs or rock and roll for his life, and unfortunately it all came back to haunt him at aged 70. Despite the excessive alcohol consumption, Lemmy was able to cement his place in rock and roll legacy. Amazingly, Lemmy and Motörhead do not currently possess a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, despite the likes of Metallica's James Hetfield petitioning for their induction.

Lemmy was known for his distinctive raspy voice that is completely unique to the front man. Accompanied by his mutton-chopped face slamming away on his archetypal Richenbacker bass guitar, the image of the only sole constant member of Motörhead is one of the most iconic in rock and roll. Throughout his career, Lemmy had notable collaborations with none other than Ozzy Osbourne (Ozzy often cited Lemmy as ‘his hero’), pioneers of punk the Ramones, and they also admirably covered "Heroes" by the late David Bowie.

However, the legacy of Lemmy and Motörhead goes far beyond emphatic concerts, musical collaborations and legendary songs. There are the films, the video games, the ‘Lemmy’ cocktail (quite simply JD and Coca-Cola), and even a game on live Blackjack at William Hill, where Motörhead’s unique blend of deafly grunge continues to influence fans. Interestingly, Motörhead strayed away from their hardcore fans, and into more mainstream stardom in 2001 when their song ‘The Game’ (written by Jim Johnston) was instated as the entrance theme for professional wrestler Triple H.

The opening guitar riff is one of the most well known around, and it pays tribute to the majesty of Triple H, who often goes by ‘The King of Kings’. This nickname would not be misplaced when attributed to Lemmy, who is often named as the King of Heavy Rock. Motörhead, along with the likes of Black Sabbath and The Sex Pistols, were pivotal in steering the rather mundane and repetitive idea of rock and roll into new horizons in the late 70s and early 80s – taking fans to grungier heights with dirty vocals, punchy bass tones and electric riffs that were far from the mainstream.

Despite drummer Mikkey Dee claiming Motörhead "are over" for now, the legacy of Motörhead shows no signs of slowing down, and their iconic and most famous song "Ace of Spades" will still be found on every rock and roll compilation album in the high streets. Their concerts will forever be remembered for all of the ear drums they burst, and that’s exactly the kind of mark Lemmy would have loved to leave.

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