The man, the legend that is Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead has sadly died, two days after learning he had cancer. He had just turned 70 years old.
He lived life to the full and in essence fused metal and punk rock with his distinct bass playing and Jack Daniels gravel vocals that was part and parcel of the Motörhead sound.
The world is now a far emptier and quieter place.
Lemmy – Motörhead bassist/vocalist & before that, he was bassist with Hawkwind singing on their biggest hit single Silver Machine.
Ian Kilmister, Lemmy was born in Burslem, Stoke on Xmas Eve 1945 and moved with his remarried mother to North Wales in 1956.
He lived in Benllech and spent his teenage years with his family there and it was at Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones (school) in Amlwch where he picked up the his nickname Lemmy, apparently because he’d scrounge money by saying ‘Lemmy a penny’ (lend me a penny), he was expelled for smoking (along with producer David Wrench‘s father!).
Talking about his time at the school, Lemmy said, ‘Funnily enough, being the only English kid among 700 Welsh ones didn’t make for the happiest time – but it was interesting from an anthropological point of view.’
In the early 1960s he lived on a farm behind Conwy and then in Greenfield Road, Colwyn Bay, with his mother and stepfather (Willis was the name he was known by when he lived locally). He was also alleged to have been part of the notorious Henchmen motorcycle club, and other sources claim he got his name for continually asking other members to ‘Lemmy a fiver’.
As a rhythm guitarist, he was in local bands in the sixties, including The Sundowners of Llandudno, playing mainly instrumentals apart from Ricky Nelson’s Travellin’ Man that Lemmy sang. They changed their name to The DeeJays doing the wedding and barn dance circuit.
Lemmy then joined, Colwyn Bay band The Sapphires (1964) but he didn’t last long as he couldn’t stand the guitarist (George Kennedy). He also frequented the Dixieland show bar on Colwyn Bay Pier and would occasionally jam on stage with bands like The Questions, it was a venue he would eventually return to in 1978 as front-man of Motörhead. READ MORE »