This was the week we said goodbye to Lemmy. His memorial celebration, at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood, was live-streamed to a quarter of a million people, the mixture of tearjerking eulogies and piss-funny stories from his family and friends provided an overwhelming insight into how deeply loved and admired the man was, and what an extraordinary life he lived. There were moving testimonies from Mikkey Dee, Lars Ulrich, Slash, Rob Halford and Dave Grohl, but it was the introductory speech from Lemmy’s son Paul that set the bar the highest for raw emotion, and for perfectly nailing the great man’s greatest qualities. “He was not a conventional father,” he said, “but I never once felt betrayed by him for that. He was truly a free spirit… The most loyal man we ever knew… He showed us how to be true to ourselves by always sticking to his guns… He always brought me up when I was down.”
Mikkey Dee affirmed that Lemmy often told him “he didn’t regret a single minute,” and that “he told me all the time he had the perfect life: to be touring, entertaining people, and see the smiles on peoples’ faces.” Phil Campbell couldn’t be present, but sent a powerfully succinct message: “It was an absolute honour playing, writing and laughing with you, I will miss you so much.”
Surely the best anecdote ever told at any memorial service ever came from Lemmy’s friend Scotty, a former snake handler for Alice Cooper. In studded leather wristband and cut-off patched denim, the moustachioed Californian recalled the time he gave Lemmy a lift to the Rainbow on the back of his motorbike while carrying an angry eight-foot python.
Rob Trujillo recalled the poignant significance of the last hug he ever gave Lemmy, while Lars Ulrich (apparently dressed as a Glaswegian tramp) remembered how as a dorky teenage fanboy he was invited into Motörhead’s inner sanctum, where he vomited all over himself. A tearful Dave Grohl was recalling the first time he ever met Lemmy – playing a fruit machine at a strip club – but the live link excruciatingly cut out just as he was about to relate the first thing Lemmy ever said to him. According to sources present, it was “Sorry about your friend Kurt.”
It was also the week Ace Of Spades reached number 13 in the official UK album chart– some way off the top spot the campaign hoped to reach, but somehow more appropriate. There were also two other campaigns gaining momentum online: a 40,000-strong petition with the hilariously vague mission statement for “the entire world to henceforth and hereafter refer to the combination of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey and Coca-Cola as a ‘Lemmy’”, and a more specifically directed (and funnier) petition to the International Union Of Pure And Applied Chemistry, asserting that a newly discovered heavy metal element should be named Lemmium. This now has nearly 140,000 signees.
In non-Lemmy-related news this week, Killing Joke cancelled their 26-date tour of North America – scheduled to begin in a week – “due to some health issues for one of the band”. A band statement adds “This has come as a shock to us all. Please give us the time to work this out and we hope to return to touring as soon as possible.”
Billy Corgan has ruled out a reunion with the original line-up of Smashing Pumpkins, insisting “I have no interest in doing anything that’s inorganic… People rarely get out of original reunions what they think they’re gonna get.” Summing up his feelings for bassist D’arcy Wretzky, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and guitarist James Iha, he announced: “If they were lying on the side of the road, I would stop my car and bring them to the hospital, but we don’t send Christmas cards to each other. There’s no relationship.”
Exclusively for Hammer, Randy Blythe revealed his plans for a novel set “50-100 years in the future,” which will deal with “where our society is heading, and some of the things shaping the human psyche.” He is trying to resist the urge to give the story a downbeat conclusion; “Real life is depressing enough,” he observes.
Best stick some Motörhead on again, then.