This is my first blog about resilient people, so No1 of a series.
I’ve recently become slightly obsessed with the death (and life) of Lemmy. For those who don’t remember, Lemmy was Ian Fraser Kilmister, the founder of a quite loud band called Motorhead who played Rock ‘n’ roll. They did this loudly and Lemmy had a voice like an angle grinder cutting through a galvanised water tank.
Why should we pay attention to this guy? If you didnt’ like his brain shattering music or share his strange interest in WW2 uniforms, what’s that reason to note his passing? It’s not his ability to consume Jack Daniels or his vices that are particularly unusual for a Rock musician. It’s his focus that counts. Watch the documentary, with the sound off if you don’t like his tunes. You’ll see enough from the clip below.
Lemmy wasn’t a particularly amazing musician. He had a good background having hung out with Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles. He did one thing and did it obsessively until his death. That for me is what stands out. He played his instrument, the bass guitar, like a maniac, like it was his last day on earth.
It’s his focus that’s outstanding and enviable even if you don’t like his choice of chords. He was just Lemmy – (so it’s ok) that’s what he did. Simple. Focussed. Nobody is going to say he was mindful, but that’s pretty much the summary. He just did what he was passionate about, loudly, resiliently and in the end it probably kept him going and maybe killed him too. Just “killed by death” as one of his songs goes.
So, thanks is due to Lemmy! – you made my ears ring and gave me something different and quite rude to hear as a teenager. Something lyrically simply and so direct it was impressive. Surviving 70 years at the coal face of rock n roll with all its habits is impressive too. Being the bass player and spending your time as the front man also notably different.
You weren’t everyone’s favourite tipple, but that was never your intention to cater for the masses. You just did it your way.
Enough dark introspection – lights up! Thanks Lemmy – you were the front man of precision angry man noise, the rest of us are just the roadcrew. On with the show.