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Lemmy in 2005
Lemmy in 2005
Background information
Birth nameIan Fraser Kilmister
Also known asLemmy
Born(1945-12-24)24 December 1945
Burslem, Staffordshire, England, UK
Died28 December 2015(2015-12-28) (aged 70)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genreshard rock, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, actor
InstrumentsBass, Guitar, Harmonica
Years active1959–2015

Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015), commonly known by Lemmy, was a British musician, singer-songwriter and actor. He was best known as the bassist of the heavy metal band Motörhead.

Early years[change | change source]

Lemmy was born in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. He went to school at Ysgol Syr Thomas Jones in Amlwch, Wales. At age 16 he attended a concert by The Beatles in the Cavern Club. Lemmy liked the sarcastic attitude of the Beatles, especially John Lennon. Around that time he began playing guitar in small local bands like The Sundowners.

In mid-1960, he played guitar in bands like The Rainmakers, then The Motown Sect, playing clubs in the north. In 1965, he joined the band The Rockin 'Vickers, and signed a contract with CBS. The band released three single albums and toured Europe. In 1967, he moved to London and got a job as a roadie on The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In 1968, he recorded an album titled Escalator with the band Sam Gopal. After that, Lemmy met Simon King in a shopping center in Chelsea and then joined the band Opal Butterfly for a short period.

Lemmy joined the Ladbroke Grove rock band Hawkwind as a bassist and vocalist. He gained experience as a bassist, because until then he had only worked as a guitarist. Lemmy was also lead vocals on several songs for the band.

Motörhead[change | change source]

In 1975, Lemmy founded a new band called Bastard with guitarist Larry Wallis and Lucas Fox on drums. Later, Lemmy changed the name of the band to Motörhead. Wallis and Fox left the band and were replaced by the guitarist Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor. This new formation would begin Motörhead's success in live performances. In 1977, the band recorded their first album, Motörhead, released 24 September 1977. The second album, titled Overkill, contained two songs that would become Motörhead classics: "Louie Louie" and "Overkill". The peak of the band was 1980 and 1981 with a series of chart hits in the UK, including the classic single "Ace of Spades", one of the biggest hits of the band.

Motörhead's members changed throughout the band's career, but Lemmy remained on bass and vocals from their start 1975 until his death in December 2015.

Acting career[change | change source]

Lemmy's career as an actor began by playing small roles in low-budget UK films Eat the Rich (1988) and Hardware (1990). His credits include Terror Firmer (1998), Frezno Smooth (1999), and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000).

Death[change | change source]

On 28 December 2015, Lemmy died of prostate cancer, cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure at his home in Los Angeles, California at the age of 70.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Motorhead frontman Lemmy dies aged 70". BBC News. 29 December 2015. Retrieved 29 December 2015.

Other websites[change | change source]