The 28th September 2015 was the day that heavy metal lost one of its true heroes. He was everything a rocker should be; outspoken, fearless, and bad to the bone. He was Lemmy Kilmister, and he was heavy metal. As the singer-songwriter of Motorhead, he was what you could call one of the founding figures of heavy metal but what has happened in the three years since his passing?
The immediate aftermath
It was inevitable that the band would never perform after Lemmy’s death and this was confirmed just a couple of days after Lemmy’s passing as drummer Mikkey Dee said that the band was over. Lemmy was Motorhead and touring or writing music was never a possibility without the man himself at the helm.
Mikkey went on to join German rockers The Scorpions just a month or so after Lemmy’s death subbing for their drummer James Kottak. By September of 2016, he was announced as a full-time member and has been ever-present since. Phil Campbell, as you probably already know, has started touring as Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons releasing an album in January 2018. Although both appeared on stage together for a version of Motorhead’s Overkill, they have left Motorhead in the past.
Before his death, Lemmy had a nose for good business, and whenever an opportunity to publicize the band’s name arose, he took it with both hands. Memorabilia is all well and good but Lemmy and manager Todd Singerman understood that there was more to business than t-shirts and pins. They put the band’s name out there and looked for any business opportunities that tied in with the band and Lemmy’s ethos. And one of the most surprising opportunities was that of the slot machine.
Motorhead has always had this link to the game of poker, after all the classic Ace of Spades released back in 1980 is one of the most famous rock songs of all time. But when Lemmy agreed to allow PokerStars use the band name for a video slot, a few eyebrows were raised. Having said that, those who knew Lemmy were unsurprised. He was a big fan of video games and arcade machines, and gaming is exactly the kind of pastime many would associate with the legend. So the deal made absolute sense. It’s one of the most popular games on their site and is still going strong even after Lemmy’s death.
Since his passing though there have been very few deals done, but one that did take place was the craft beer deal in the US. Camerons Brewery and Arcadia Brewing Company joined forces to create Road Crew and American IPA. Although Lemmy’s favoured drink was Jack Daniels, we’re pretty sure he’d have been fully on board with this deal. But if like Lemmy, whisky is your thing then there’s also a Motorhead whisky created by a Swedish distillery that is still available around the globe.
But what about the music? Well, as we said earlier the band broke up, so the chances of hearing new music never seemed like a genuine opportunity. However, it always seemed likely that a live album would come out and in June 2016, fans were treated to Clean your Clock. The live material was recorded over two live shows in Munich which were the last two professionally recorded performances by the band.
And then again in September 2017, fans got another surprise with the release of Under Cover, an album of covers Motorhead performed throughout the years. This would be the first time that all of these performances were released on a single album and included the previously unreleased cover of David Bowie’s Heroes.
The end of an era
With Lemmy gone, an era has ended. And the summer of 2018 movie Sunset Society is likely to be the last ‘new’ material we’ll ever see from the metal legend. So grab your Motorhead whisky or craft beer and raise your glass to the legend that was Lemmy Kilmister.