As news of Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister’s death spread on Monday night, many of his peers and friends paid homage to the charismatic frontman and remembered him as a heavy metal mastermind. Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett was among those who wrote touching tributes, and he released a statement Tuesday, calling Kilmister “the finest of gentlemen.”
“Back in 1979 when I was 16 years old, I heard ‘Overkill’ for the first time,” he wrote. “I thought it was the fastest thing I’d ever heard, and I declared to all my friends that Motörhead were the fastest band in the land.” Hammett then thanked Kilmister for rocking and said, “That inspiration will always be there with me, and may the music of Motörhead live on!”
The band announced Kilmister’s death in a Facebook note Monday night, and shortly after, Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee told Swedish publication Expressen that the band would not continue on without their frontman. “Motörhead is over, of course,” he said. “Lemmy was Motörhead.”
See Hammett’s full note below.
Lemmy was the finest of gentlemen.
Back in 1979 when I was 16 years old, I heard Overkill for the first time. I thought it was the fastest thing I’d ever heard, and I declared to all my friends that Motörhead were the fastest band in the land.
When I had first seen pictures of what these guys looked like, I noticed a certain authenticity about them, I imagined they lived the way they looked and looked the way they lived.
And I remember very distinctly having a realization that moment — I realized that it was ok to be an outsider, and that it was ok to not feel like I had to conform to anything that I objected to in my teenage life, because clearly the Motörhead guys in this picture looked like they didn’t conform to anything at all, and boy it sure looked and sounded like they were enjoying themselves as a result.
So I got a lot from that pic, and that massive sound, and that attitude.
And I have to thank Lemmy, Fast Eddie and also the recently departed Philthy Animal for the inspiration, spark, and fire, that I felt so strongly from that night in 1979.
That inspiration will always be there with me, and may the music of Motörhead live on!