a Few days ago, the frontman and founding member of Motörhead, Lemmy Kilmister, passed away after a short but futile battle with an aggressive cancer.
Lemmy was 70 years old.
His upbringing was as unassuming as his career was to be – he was born Ian Fraser Kilmister in the landlocked Staffordshire County, which is best known for breeding a type of bull terrier hunting dog, not metal musicians. But Lemmy had a life-changing moment when he saw four blokes from Liverpool perform. After that, he wanted to be the fifth member of The Beatles. (Apparently his résumé was “lost in the mail.”)
But instead of growing a bowl cut and singing in ladylike octaves, Lemmy began playing gigs in random bands and even serving as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix. And in 1975 he formed Motörhead, a moment when he finally found his calling. From then on it was a rock and roll fairytale – drugs (amphetamines were his favorite), alcohol (he once claimed that he drank an entire bottle of Jack Daniels every day until he was 30), women (he’s said to have “bedded” nearly 2,000 ladies), and of course that gravely freight train of a voice, grumbling over take-no-prisoners, who-the-fuck-are-you metal music.
With jet black sideburns, a cowboy hat, and the well-worn mug of an outlaw, Lemmy soon became the face of modern metal. He influenced everyone from Dave Grohl to Metallica. And in some unholy yet harmonious union, Motörhead’s unapologetic music found its way into surf cinema. Most recently, Lemmy’s “Fast and Loose” was featured in John John Florence’s View From a Blue Moon. But perhaps one of the most iconic instances of Motörhead in surf cinema was in Volcom’s 2005 flick, The Bruce Movie. So sit back and watch the brilliance of Lemmy’s mosh pit vocals from “No Class” over Bruce Irons clawing his way into bombs at Pipeline and Backdoor: