Rock ‘n’ roll royalty
With his place firmly set in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Ian’s hall of fame, along with Ian Anderson and Ian Curtis, Ian Fraser Kilmister, or Lemmy as he is affectionately known, is a rock lord who will always be remembered. Having sadly left us in December 2015, this heavy-metal bass-thrasher is known not just for his music, but for his epic lifestyle and various escapades. Here, we have five strange facts about Lemmy that you may not know.
1 – Lemmy was rather fond of slot machines
People say that Ian obtained his nickname, Lemmy, as a result of this addiction, for which he would ask people to ‘Lemme a fiver’ so that he could fund his habit. Therefore, it only seems fitting that he is honoured with his very own casino game on John Slots, and although he can tragically no longer serenade us with the likes of “Orgasmatron” and “Killed by Death”, he can bring the noise via entertaining online casino games. Reflected in some of Motörhead’s tracks, gambling was a big part of Lemmy’s life. He was known to loiter by slot machines when he was touring, and it is even rumoured that his favourite slot machine was brought to him on his deathbed.
2 – Lemmy had a love of horses
While sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll was his mantra, equine mammals were his project on the side. He grew up on a farm, and he has even revealed in the past that if he had ever quit rocking out with Motörhead, then he would have probably centered his life around mares and stallions. It was, however, music that got to him first, so instead of Ian Fraser Kilmister – master jockey and horse breeder, we got Lemmy – Rock Demigod! It is said that he sold his horses to a girl’s school in Wales and the rest is history (for him, not his horses). Motörhead’s barnstorming track, “Iron Horse”, however, does not pay homage to his favourite animal. The lyrics ‘On iron horse he flies, on iron horse he gladly dies’, actually refer to Tramp, a senior Hell’s Angel. The iron horse in the song is Tramp’s motorcycle.
3 – Lemmy was a World War II fanatic
Okay, we have slot machines, rock music and horses. What do you think would be next in this order? You guessed it – World War II memorabilia! He once stated in an interview that he liked the uniforms and that it’s always the bad guys in history who have the best-looking ones. Although Kilmister was by no means a Nazi sympathizer, he did once get into a spot of bother over wearing an old Nazi cap during a photoshoot in Germany – we doubt he cared, though. A Damascus Luftwaffe sword, thought to be worth over $10,000, was one of his proudest possessions, and he would often wear iron crosses and hats that were worn by German second world war forces.
4 – Lemmy’s step-dad was a footballer
Football is difficult to avoid, making a crossover into all aspects of modern life; food, drink, fashion, casino games, advertisements, beauty products, you name it! George Willis, Lemmy’s step-dad, played as a forward for the likes of Brighton and Hove Albion, and Plymouth Argyle. He even won the Third Division South title with Plymouth in 1951–52.
5 – His first band was called The Rockin’ Vickers
With Motörhead and Hawkwind being the bands that people would most associate with Lemmy, one of the first musical ensembles in which he appeared was a mostly covers band called The Rockin’ Vickers. Onstage, they would dress as – you guessed it – vicars, and they were well known for their energetic live performances. Seemingly a far cry from the skulls and flames associated with Motörhead’s impressive artwork, Lemmy’s priestly attire did not last long, and he soon swapped it for blacker-than-black leather, big hats and studded jackets.
Long live the metal king
Those were our five strange facts about Lemmy. An idol to many, he thrived on rock ‘n’ roll and hedging his bets in life. Lemmy’s famous “Ace of Spades” line of ‘You win some, you lose some’, not only sums up what he loved, but it is a somewhat symbolic and honest summary of the lifestyle that he chose. Ian Fraser Kilmister is a true icon of our time and he deserves to be remembered not just for his music, but for his head-first way of life and amazing style. Here’s to you, Lemmy. May you Rest In Noise!
Header image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/Lemmy_Kilmister.jpg