Many musicians have made their eulogies about the late Lemmy Kilmister, from high-profile artists to newer bands who were inspired by Motörhead and their leader, but if there’s one that really matters, it would be from Lemmy’s long-time friend, Ozzy Osbourne.
Osbourne spoke to Rolling Stone about his friendship and history with Lemmy, which goes way back to the early Hawkwind days, up to now, as he spoke to Lemmy a few days before he passed away. There are many great stories regarding the duo and we’d recommend read it entirely but among those memories, these are the ones that Osbourne spoke about:
All I’ve done since I heard the news was reflect on the times we had together. He was a good guy, a very good friend of mine. I’m still in some shock.
I phoned him up two days ago, and I couldn’t make out one word he was saying. Yesterday, I got a text from his manager saying, “Lemmy’s on the way [out], and he wants to see some of his friends.” So my wife and I were just about leaving the door and the text came saying he’d gone. It shook me up bad. We were like, “Wow.” He must have been suffering for a while. You know, he’s 70. He lived the rock & roll lifestyle to the max, but still it’s sad when you lose a friend like that.
When talking about the day he met him:
I met him when he was in Hawkwind. We used to rehearse in the same place in England. And then when he formed Motörhead, they were like the pirates of the rock business. I remember when I did my first solo tour of America, and they were opening up for us. We had a lot of fun together. They would be partying every day. On that tour, I remember saying to Lemmy at one point, “Do you ever sleep?” And he goes, “Well, not much.” I go, “When was the last time you slept?” He said, “Let me think. Ten, 12 days ago.” I said, “You’re joking!” If I stayed awake for two days, I would be absolutely screaming, crazy. But they used to go for it.
[…]When they toured with me, it was like Spinal Tap. They’d come off the stage, soaking with sweat, they’d get in the bus and just drive. They wouldn’t shower. We were doing colleges, anywhere we could play. And their rider was like a case of Jack Daniel’s, a case of vodka. Sharon says, “How much do you think we can afford to pay you?” Their rider was well more than we were paying them. They lived on vodka, orange juice, soda, and they’d walk around with bourbon all the time. I don’t know how the fuck they drank that stuff. I got loaded on Jack Daniel’s only one time, and I went, “You know what? It’s fucking not for me.”
Osbourne and Lemmy shared the road many times and wrote classic Ozzy songs like “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” “See You on the Other Side” and the Grammy-winning “I Don’t Want to Change the World” so his remembrance goes really in-depth about the relationship between both, and you can envision Osbourne going through a hard time dealing with the news:
I’ll miss him so much. We all will. There’s a big hole in the music industry as far as I’m concerned.
He was a character. There ain’t many characters in music today. I mean, you’ve got Miley Cyrus, OK, but there’s not many characters in the game anymore. But he was definitely a character. An original. He lived the lifestyle. Sex, drugs and rock & roll, that was Lemmy.
You know what? There goes a hero for me. He was my hero. He was fucking great, a good friend. I’m missing him already. I’ll never forget him. I don’t think a lot of people will forget Lemmy. He’ll be so missed in my camp. He was a good guy, a good man, a good friend of mine. He was just a fucking great dude, man. Not enough time for him.
God bless you, Lemmy. I’m so honored to have you a part of my life.