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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.

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