Motorhead frontman, bassist 'Lemmy' dead at 70

Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:38pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, the hard-living, hell-raising frontman of British heavy metal band Motorhead, has died at age 70 after recently being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, the band said on its Facebook page on Monday.

With his trademark moles framed by dark muttonchops, the bassist and vocalist cut an unmistakable figure on stage as he craned his neck to the microphone, growling out hits like "Ace of Spades" with a throat he said he fed for decades with a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey a day.

"The thing about hangovers is, you have to stop to get one," Lemmy liked to say.

A notorious amphetamine user, he once claimed to have stayed up for two weeks non-stop, but the hard living eventually took its toll and he struggled with his health in recent years.

In 2013, the band, canceled European summer festival appearances after he reportedly suffered a hematoma, and he told Rolling Stone magazine in 2014 he had seriously cut back on his drinking and smoking.

"We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren't words," Motorhead said in its Facebook posting about Lemmy's death. "We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please ... play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few."

HENDRIX'S ROADIE

After cutting his teeth in beat bands in the 1960s, he spent time as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix before his first taste of stardom with British space rockers Hawkwind, singing the band's biggest hit, biker anthem Silver Machine, in 1972.   Continued...

 
Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister of Motorhead performs on the Pyramid stage during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, Britain, June 26, 2015.  REUTERS/Dylan Martinez