Saturday, 9 January 2016

When one of your heroes dies

Lemmy and his unique mic style
My first 'LP'
We all remember the first album we bought, or if you're as old as me, your first 'LP'. Mine was in 1979 and it was Bomber by Motorhead. At the age of 14, growing up in a pub in the midlands, any money I could earn was put aside for records, and soon to follow, gigs. If I remember correctly it cost £4.99 and was one of the best investments I ever made. Revolver records in Kettering made a killing out of me from then on, singles, EPs, albums, posters, badges, patches etc. It was the age of NWOBHM, and a great time to be a teenager.

At the age of 15, I booked myself onto a coach trip to De Montfort Hall in Leicester, to see my first gig; The ace up your sleeve tour, 17th November 1980...Motorhead, of course. A young lad, with wide eyes and ringing ears, totally absorbed in the entire experience. I couldn't hear a thing at school the following day, but that was fine. The memory, now anchored deep, was more than enough to distract me from double maths and chemistry...or whatever it was I was supposed to be doing.


They had to stop because the
speaker cables were melting. 
My first gig 17:11:80
De Montfort Hall, Leicester
35 years, 33 Motorhead gigs (I only missed two years, but mostly went on my own!), a couple of times sneaking back stage,  2 constantly ringing ears and 22 plus albums later, it's now all over. One of only a very few people I have truly admired, died over Christmas, 2015. Lemmy Kilmister, with his wit, honesty, true to himself attitude has decided to move on; and of course, this also rightly means the end of Motorhead too. This is the fella who, when I joined the army, took pride of place in my 8 man barrack room. We were allowed one picture, and one picture only, on our purpose made board on the wall next to our lockers. Most chose family or girlfriends, I chose a picture of Lemmy and Motorhead (ok....I didn't have a girlfriend!). For me, he had achieved hero status, unique, couldn't care less what anyone else thought, true to his beliefs, living life to the max, a genius musician as well....I guess I admired all these qualities and wished I was brave enough to follow in the same way.

Pride of place in the barrack room.
I was woken up on the morning of 29th December 2015 by several texts buzzing my phone with the sad news, quickly followed by floods of messages on social media, this was subsequently confirmed all over the news. It was an odd hollow feeling. Of course I didn't know him, I only spoke to him the once, but he will be missed in many ways...and my ticket to see Motorhead on 30th January 2016 at Hammersmith Odeon (not the poxy 'Eventim Appollo') will be a printed reminder that 'No sleep 'til Hammersmith' pretty much came true. Thankfully, Lemmy, and Motorhead, will always be larger than life itself, blasting out of speakers in my home and all over the world for many years to come. Forget 10, and even 11, turn it up to 12 and enjoy one of the last true rock 'n' roll icons...there aren't many more left.

It's now time to tune into his memorial on YouTube and maybe partake in a few glasses of Jack Daniels.

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