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Lemmy’s memorial service a touching sendoff

Posted by on January 9, 2016

Ian Fraser Kilmister, known much better to the world as Motörhead frontman Lemmy, was laid to rest earlier today, with a service that was streamed worldwide on the band’s Youtube page. With nearly 250,000 people watching worldwide, the moving ceremony was a fitting sendoff for a legendary personality. Overseen by Motorhead’s manager Todd Singerman, a variety of those close to the singer paid tribute to him. Kicked off by a 15-minute speech by his son Paul, it was best summed up by him saying “they say you can’t choose your parents, but I won the lottery.”

It was a star-studded event. Several of the speakers broke down, with his personal assistant Ian starting one of Lemmy’s jokes and not being able to initially finish it. Skew Siskin’s Nina Alice and also broke down, and Motörhead’s stage manager struggled to make it through his speech. His drummer Mikkey Dee, Producer Bob Kulick, his publicist Nina, the guy that made his boots, Alice Cooper’s snake handler (!) Scott, his longtime girlfriend Cheryl and others shared memories. Much of it came back to his sense of humor. Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum spoke of being asked to fill in for Dee by Lemmy. “Why me?” he asked. “Because Dave Grohl wasn’t available,” was Lemmy’s response. “When do we rehearse?” he asked. “We don’t,” was the reply.

Sorum’s bandmate Slash was called up next, with Singerman prefacing his speech by stating that the guitarist was there for Lemmy after his defibrillator was put in. The high point of his speech was stating that the only time he felt bad about getting sober was when he first met up with Lemmy after doing so and Lemmy was disappointed when the guitarist didn’t pull a flask of Jack Daniels out of his jacket. Rob Halford, Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Ugly Kid Joe’s Whitfield Crane and Alice In Chains’ Mike Inez spoke as well. “There’s only one Elvis Presley, one Little Richard, one Steve McQueen and one Lemmy,” Inez said.

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Lars Ulrich and Robert Turjillo

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo appeared as the service came to a close. Trujillo spoke about trying to give the iconic frontman a ride in a car that wouldn’t start. After asking him to give it a few minutes and giving him a history lesson, of course the car started right up. He then repeated the story he told about Joni Mitchell and Lemmy meeting each other, with Lemmy fanboying about Mitchell, with her calling him “Lenny.” A bearded Ulrich spoke of throwing up on himself in 1982 in Lemmy’s hotel room, having been one of the band’s biggest fans once they came to America. A month later, in Copenhagen, and 18 year-old Ulrich was welcomed by Motorhead, who’d recognized him from the prior month. That picture of a vomit-stained Ulrich wound up on the inner sleeve of Orgasmatron. Dave Grohl closed out the service, stating that he was at strip club Crazy Girls about 20 years prior when he first met Grohl, and ended with Grohl tearfully reciting the lyrics to Little Richard’s “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” an artist that both of the musicians looked up to. Lemmy’s bass was then strummed, set up against a Marshall stack, and Singerman proclaimed “Lemmy has left the building,” as feedback reverberated through the room.

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Categorised in: In Memoriam, News