Brian May’s Final Wish For Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy Kilmister was an icon of rock and roll before he passed away in 2015, saddening every Motörhead fan and prominent names in the industry. Kilmister’s vocals and guitar talents inspired musicians for a long time, and he remains one of those musicians that are influential to the new generation. Kilmister gained recognition when he found Motörhead in 1975, and he remained the band’s only stable member from its foundation until his death.
Kilmister suffered from illnesses towards the end of his life. Being a consumer of alcohol and drugs, as he grew older, the musician slowed down due to his diabetes and hypertension. However, these precautions didn’t stop his eventual death. On December 28, 2015, Kilmister died from prostate cancer, cardiac arrhythmia, and congestive heart failure. The passing of an icon upset many people, including Brian May, and the Queen guitarist wrote a lengthy tribute for Kilmister.
What Did Brian May Say In His Tribute To Kilmister?
It was hard for the guitarist to write about Kilmister because he wasn’t a person who accepted compliments but tried to pen down his admiration for him. May stated that Kilmister was unique and had different personalities fit for diverse occasions. Although his music was aggressive and lyrics were arguably simple, he had a profound character and thought deeply. He was educated and cultured, unlike how he presented himself on stage.
In his farewell, May penned:
“Words don’t come easy, especially when you know Lemmy would have laughed at us all trying to say dignified things about him being a hero. Whenever I attempted to say anything complimentary to Lemmy to his face, he would fix me with a kind of amused, contemptuous stare. But a kind of hero he certainly was. He was unique in just about every way imaginable. He was a living mismatch of personality types. His music was roaring, abrasive, uncompromising, and his lyrics mostly deliberately gave no hint of sensitivity. Yet as a person, he was a pacifist, a deep thinker, and a man who cared profoundly about his friends.
I was never in his closest circle of pals, but we bumped into each other often, and he always managed to say something shockingly respectful to me, leaving me disarmed because he hated being praised himself. Or so it seemed. One of my dearest friends lived with Lemmy for ten years, and she always spoke of him as a tender man, very different from his public face, which never deviated from his tough gaze on the world. Lemmy was a highly cultured and well-read man.”
He continued to appreciate his music and fascination with how he could play the bass. May repeated himself and called his playing ‘unique’ because he could hit 200 notes in a minute, and his vocals were also as remarkable as his bass. May continued to praise the icon and ended his tribute by expressing his one last wish.
What Was May’s One Last Wish For Lemmy Kilmister?
May played with Kilmister back in 2000 when he made a guest appearance at the Motörhead 25th Anniversary show. They performed the song ‘Overkill’ on former Motörhead guitarist Eddie Clark’s side. In 2015, May had the chance to work with the band again on their song ‘The Devil.’
‘The Devil’ was in the album ‘Bad Magic,’ which became their last album as the band split after Kilmister passed away. After expressing his gratitude for playing on a Motörhead album, May revealed his final desire for the late musician. Because many considered Kilmister an aggressive rock and roll player, May’s last wish for the icon was to be in a celestial rock bar with the devil on his side, drinking whiskey.
Here are May’s last words to Kilmister:
“I could go on, Lemmy’s skills at embarrassing people (including me) and his ability to soak up substances in quantities that would have anesthetized a rhinoceros. But it’s enough. All the most important stuff is in his music. Phil roped me in to play on the most recent Motörhead album, an honor that I will now treasure more than ever. It’s a track called ‘The Devil.’ If there’s any justice, Lemmy will be in some celestial rock and roll bar, knocking back Jack Daniels with the Devil at his side, the two of them quietly chuckling at the oddities of life.”
You can listen to ‘The Devil’ below.