One of rock’s most recognisable front men, Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, has died aged 70. A life of excess lived to the full making ear-bleeding noise for the fans, first for “Hawkwind” and then “Motorhead”, finally slowed down in 2013 when health forced a tour cancellation. For nearly 40 years Motorhead ruled, and Lemmy was king.
While he was just a lad when he joined acid-tripping space rockers Hawkwind at the fag end of the 1960s and played on their sole hit, the orgasmic “Silver Machine”, he seemed to have missed the boat when he left the band.
But that was only part of his master plan, launching Motorhead onto an unsuspecting world at the height of Punk Rock with the intention of making the band the loudest, filthiest noise in rock. He succeeded admirably, oozing attitude and playing so loud Motorhead would have health warnings issued for some of their concerts.
Lemmy also craved out a niche for himself as an elder statesman of rock. With often witty and erudite comments on the business and life in general he revealed himself to a be a no-nonsense antidote to the rather bland, over-marketed stars of New Wave, Britpop, and the other faddish musical movements. He was also a born provocateur, with an extensive collection of Nazi memorabilia and would not suffer fools gladly in interviews.