Mike McCready (Pearl Jam), Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), William DuVall (Alice In Chains), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver) have all posted tributes for Lemmy Kilmister, the legendary Motorhead frontman who passed away yesterday at the age of 70.
Lemmy was always cool to me. So many stories. My favorite: About 15 years ago, I was driving down Sunset Blvd. near where I lived in West Hollywood. I pulled over into a driveway to talk to someone on my cellphone (this was before I had Bluetooth) and looked up to see Lemmy walking toward my car. He leaned in my passenger window and asked me if I could give him a ride to his favorite strip club in Silver Lake. I said, “Sure.” On our drive, we talked about a wide range of topics – music, global history, World War II. Lemmy was extremely well read and erudite. When we pulled up outside the club, Lemmy pulled out a couple of $20 bills to hand me. I said, “No, man, it’s cool, really.” Lemmy said, “Come on. I see you’re driving on your spare tire (which was true). Go on, take it. You need it. No time to be proud. I appreciate the lift. And the talk.” So I took the money, let Lemmy out, and drove onward. The truth was I did need it. I had risked everything to move to Los Angeles with my band, Comes With The Fall. I was driving around in the 1995 Mercury Tracer that my grandfather had left me, the car that had gotten me across the country. I’d gotten a flat a couple of weeks earlier and, as Lemmy noted, was still driving on the “donut” spare tire because I couldn’t afford a proper replacement. Trying to keep CWTF going – putting out records independently, chasing down gigs, etc. – and simultaneously keep myself going (eating, paying the rent, etc.) meant that things were often very touch and go financially. I appreciated the simplicity and straightforwardness of Lemmy’s reasoning. Just as I often appreciated the no-nonsense clarity of his statements in interviews. The way he spoke was illustrative of the way he lived his life. As many others have already pointed out, and will continue to in the days, weeks, and months to come, Lemmy was one of a kind. And it’s just a fact of life that Motörhead ruled. One of the singular seminal bands right up there with the Stooges, the MC5, and the Ramones. They will live forever and their legend will only grow from this day forward. As it should be. Thank you, Lemmy.