AS news of the death of hedonistic Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister (AKA Ian Fraser Kilmister) hit the headlines earlier this week tributes began pouring in from the Northern Ireland rock community.
Amongst the heartfelt adulation from lifelong fans of the iconic rock frontman, Northern Ireland’s own punk and rock legends began recalling stories and memories of their relationship with Hawkwind musician and Motorhead founder.
The heavy metal singer and bassist, died from an aggressive form of cancer having learned of it only days prior.
He passed away at his home in Los Angeles on December 28, four days after his 70th birthday.
Among Motorhead’s UK shows they played Belfast’s Ulster Hall in 1980 and again in 2009 and were one of few bands who played Maysfield Leisure Centre and the Whitla Hall at Queens in 1981.
According to music industry sources they were also in talks to return to Belfast and Dublin in 2016/17.
One source added: “Motorhead were actively touring the UK and had confirmed a number of festivals which had yet to be released.
“Their agents were in talks for doing at least one Irish show but there had been discussions as to whether or not dates in Belfast and Dublin could sell.
“Because he was struck down so quickly by his illness over the Christmas period there hadn’t been any discussions about plans being cancelled or negotiations being stalled.”
“It’s an honour to have met him” – Buck Murdock
BUCK MURDOCK, lead singer with Northern Ireland punk band The Defects has fond memories from his friendship with Lemmy in the 80s.
He recalled: “I was massive fan of Motorhead so the first time we were in London back in the early 80s it was surreal to see the band regularly just dandering about.
“We lived on our managers houseboat in Chelsea in 1982 and Lemmy lived on the next boat, Phil Taylor and Eddie I think worked or lived on a boat just down a bit from where we were. I saw them regularly. Lemmy came to Defects gigs, I remember him in the dressing room in the Marquee where we and The Outcasts were playing that night. He was always in the pub across from the boat it was called the King’s Head if I remember right constantly playing the fruit machines with three quid jackpot.
“Lemmy was a rock legend and such a cool bloke. It’s a honour to have met him.
“Towards the end of the Defects early years there were a shit load of bad times, there was once the band fucked off back for Christmas but didn’t think of me and I hadn’t 1p in my pocket.
“I was left in London over Christmas on my own, had no money and I was in London on my own. I ended up drinking a bottle of vodka with Lemmy on Christmas Eve at one of their gigs.
“That’s the kind of guy he was. The pubs used to close during the day in London for a couple hours. I remember one day I went to Lemmy’s boat with him and some French woman who was interviewing him for some rock magazine.
“I sat in his boat for ages while he did the interview in the bedroom, then he came out to tell me that he had to do the interview again as the batteries on her tape recorder died. I laughed my head off. I don’t think there was an interview at all.”
“Lemmy was the real deal” – Ray Haller
RAY HALLER, lead singer with Northern Ireland rock band Sweet Savage, toured with Motorhead a number of times throughout his career.
And he says Lemmy was “the real deal”.
“I was a big fan of Lemmy. He was one of the guys that made me want to play bass and sing. Lemmy and Motörhead where the real deal, true Rock n Roll” he said, adding: “I toured with Motörhead a couple of times Back in the Eighties and just a few years ago.
“All of the guys in Motörhead where great. So down to earth and so helpful. There was never any bullshit with Motörhead they treated all support acts with great respect and did all they could to help, and so did the Motörhead road crew. It was just like a big family.
“Lemmy himself was the real deal, Mr Rock n Roll. He was a true gent in every way and very intelligent man. He was also an authority on many subjects.
“Lemmy was the same off and on the stage. That’s why he was known for being the real deal. A very kind considerate and witty guy.
“I had the privilege to have parted with him. He was always first to the bar. He knew we as a band where stone broke so he always made sure we were always looked after. Motörhead parties were awesome. Those memories are locked away.
“The world of Entertainment and Music has lost an Icon. There are not many left like Lemmy. A true gentleman and legend.”
“The coolest guy you could ever meet” – Ian ‘Speedo’ Wilson
Fellow Sweet Savage guitarist IAN ‘SPEEDO’ WILSON was also in the privileged position to have toured with the legendary Motorhead.
He said: “I loved seeing Motorhead live and I will always remember when I first heard Ace Of Spades I couldn’t believe the new sound, so fresh and raw – it marked a new era – kinda blending Punk and Rock.
“When we put Sweet Savage back out on the road again, we did two gigs with Motorhead and Lemmy around years ago in Belfast and Dublin.
“Lemmy had that same charisma as Philp Lynott had. When either entered a room, you knew it, even if you had your back to them. A real presence.
“He always seemed very accessible to everyone and he was the coolest guy you could ever meet, he was also polite and friendly as well as a rock God.
“The only time I was ever truly frightened on stage was when we supported Motorhead.
I forgot something after our soundcheck and went on to the stage to get it, all of a sudden there was this huge bang and I nearly had a heart attack – turns out it was a note from Lemmy’s Bass just coming through the onstage monitor.
“I also remember once looking at Lemmy’s dinner sitting in catering and was told by the cook Ritchie that touching it would almost surely result in death…”
“He was part of our youth” – Eddie Currie
Former Annexe and Worldsend rock frontman EDDIE CURRIE said: “I got a text at 12:30 this morning, he was part of our youth, part of our growing up together. Motorhead were one of the only bands that had the guts to come to Belfast back in the day so they were held in very high esteem by Northern Ireland rockers.
“I remember meeting him at the Intrepid Fox in London, he was great craic, we talked about music and musicians, he had time for you, he was Lemmy, and you were in awe.
“He remembered Sweet Savage and actually remembered their names.
“He also laughed in a truly gut wrenching laugh when we talked about the guy hanging from the lighting rig in Maysfield on the Bomber tour, really sound bloke, you got the feeling you could have talked to him all night, he made time for “fans”, no airs or graces. It’s very sad news today.”
“This one’s dedicated to Belfast, because I do seriously believe you are the best audience in the country” Lemmy, Maysfield Leisure Centre 1981, introducing Overkill in the video above.
“My times with Lemmy could not be in print” – Willie Richardson
Former Virgin Records A&R executive and Northern Ireland music manager WILLIE RICHARDSON said: “I never worked with Lemmy but I followed Hawkwind in my youth and I got to party with him in Portabello Road in the 70’s. However my times with Lemmy could not be in print.”
“He had an aura about him” – Mark Ashby
Northern Ireland rock writer and Ireland editor of Planetmosh.com MARK ASHBY said: “I only ever saw Motorhead live once – at the Ulster Hall in 2004. I bumped into him backstage, and it was one of those moments…he had an aura about him, but also a humility and an air of professionalism that the image perhaps belied.
“I think it is true to say that there is not a single heavy metal musician who does not cite Lemmy as a major influence on their music and their career.”
“One of the most talented – and largely unrecognised – lyricists of the modern era” – Jonathan Traynor
Heavy Metal expert and owner of BelfastMetalheadsReunited.com JONATHAN TRAYNOR said the entire rock and metal community will be in mourning at the news.
He added: “Lemmy’s passing was perhaps the inevitable consequence of a life lived at full throttle, hellraising and without any regrets.
“But behind the grizzled exterior; behind the bass guitar wielded like a shotgun; the legendary tales of excess was a man who had the potential to a polymath, but only wanted to play rock ‘n’ roll.
“Always described as a true gent, Ian Kilmister was also one of the most talented – and largely unrecognised – lyricists of the modern era. Sure, the casual fans might know Ace of Spades and the others the news channels are playing today but there was much, much more to the wordsmith behind the trademark whiskers.”
Read Jonathan’s tribute to Lemmy in full HERE
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