Thursday, December 31, 2015

Slipknot's Corey Taylor about Lemmy: "Rest hard and loud, my friend"

Slipknot's Corey Taylor posted a message about Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister on The Guardian, you can read the message below.

The first time I ever saw Motörhead was on my favourite TV show at the time, The Young Ones. Mike (Christopher Ryan) pointed at the screen and belted: “Music!” Suddenly, that now familiar bass riff to Ace of Spades was punching me in the face, and I realised I was listening to one of my favourite songs for the first time. The guitars were smuggling razor blades, the drums were pummelling and through it all … there was Lemmy Kilmister, playing bass and straining his neck to sing into the mic that always seemed a little too high, until you realised it was just right. I sat transfixed, unable to describe what I was seeing or hearing, and unable to understand why I loved it instantly. But it didn’t matter if I didn’t understand. I just knew it kicked ass.

Lemmy Kilmister left us on 28 December, 2015, a couple of days after learning he had cancer. He had been fighting off poor health for a few years, but as his friend, I just assumed he would do what he always did: smile back and fly a gnarly middle finger. In a career that could be calculated in generations, Lemmy was one of the few proper iconoclasts left standing. He did it his way and never once tried to do it any differently. He has been called “the grandaddy of thrash”, but Lem always insisted he just played rock’n’roll. We got to be pretty close over the years, touring the world together on various festivals or running into each other at awards shows. I was lucky to call him my friend.

My favourite story involves a visit to the offices of Gibson Guitars Germany. We were both Gibson artists, and were there to check out some new gear, do some press, sign some shit. We saw each other, gave each other a quick hug/shoulder slap, and immediately went looking for a place where we could smoke. We found ourselves standing in a “kitchen” with all the windows open, chain smoking, bullshitting and laughing like crazy. I felt like we were cutting class and hanging out somewhere in the high school.

It was then that Lemmy proceeded to tell me the most hardcore joke I’d ever heard. I can’t tell it here because it’d never get published, but it involved a grandmother and an elbow. I laughed so damn hard I thought my pancreas was going to rupture. Once I caught my breath, I had a sense of where I was: hiding in a tiny room, smoking cigarettes, telling dirty jokes and hanging out with my friend, who just happened to be a man I’d been listening to most of my life. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a little fanboy moment.

A lot of people are going to talk about what a tragedy it is that our friend Lemmy died, and lament how sad it is. But I am going to talk about this: the man lived. He lived his life on his terms right up until the day he died. He played the music he loved. He never compromised, on style or volume. If there was ever a man who took no shit, prisoners or safe routes, it was Lemmy Kilmister. He was everything you wanted him to be: raw, loud, rude, funny and ready to play for his fans – which he did even when he had trouble getting on stage.

He will never be forgotten, because there is so much to remember: his music, his friendship and most importantly, his life.

His name was Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister … and he played rock’n’roll. Rest hard and loud, my friend.

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