Tuesday 22 May 2018

Motörhead's manager: 'Lemmy was given two to six months to live'

Ian Fraser
Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, lead singer of British rock band Motorhead, performs during the 24th Wacken Open Air Festival in Wacken, in this file photo from August 2, 2013. Kilmister died of cancer December 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, according to media reports
Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister of Motorhead performs on the Pyramid stage during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset, Britain, in this file photo from June 26, 2015. Kilmister died of cancer December 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, according to media reports. He was 70.

Scott D'Arcy

Motorhead rocker Lemmy Kilmister was given "two to six months to live" when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer on Saturday, two days before his death at age 70.

His manager Todd Singerman has now revealed Lemmy went to hospital two days after his star-studded birthday party at Los Angeles' Whisky A Go Go club on 13 December because he was feeling unwell.

He underwent a barrage of tests, and doctors discovered he had terminal cancer which had spread to his brain.

Singerman tells Sky News, "Nobody had any idea, we just learned Saturday, two days ago (sic), that he even had cancer and the doctor told him he had between two to six months to live. He goes (dies) today as I was making calls to (bandmates) Phil and Mikkey telling them to come on out so they could have a last goodbye while he was still upbeat and everything. He was feeling mighty low... He wasn't expected to die like that...

"He (Lemmy) gets home (from tour), we have a big birthday party for him at the Whisky A Go Go. His friends came down and played. Two days later I could tell he wasn't feeling good so we took him to the hospital, they release him, then after the brain scan they found the cancer in his brain and his neck... The doctor comes with the result a couple of days later and says... it's terminal."

Singerman explains Lemmy was initially released from hospital because doctors "said everything was fine" but they decided to take the rocker for a brain scan because "his speech was seeming a little odd, we wanted to see if maybe (he had) a minor stroke."

Singerman goes on to admit he was surprised that Lemmy's condition was not spotted earlier because the rock veteran had been battling a number of health issues over the last few years.

"That caught everyone by surprise," he adds. "That (cancer) was the last thing we thought he would ever have. When you think about it he has been to every doctor and hospital around the world and nobody caught that... That comes as a massive shock."T

His death comes little more than a month since that of the band's first drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor. Lemmy himself led tributes to the 61-year-old rocker, who died on November 11.

Ex-Motorhead guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, who played with the heavy metal group between 1976 to 1982, led tributes to Lemmy.

Clarke said on Facebook: "I have just been told that Lemmy has passed away in LA. Like Phil, he was like a brother to me. I am devastated. We did so much together, the three of us.

"The world seems a really empty place right now. I am having trouble finding the words ... He will live on in our hearts. R.I.P Lemmy!"

A post on the band's Facebook page, which was also shared by the band's current drummer Mikkey Dee, said: "There is no easy way to say this ... our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer.

"He had learnt of the disease on December 26, and was at home, sitting in front of his favourite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family.

"We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren't words.

"We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please ... play Motorhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy's music LOUD. Have a drink or few. Share stories.

"Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself. HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT."

The rock music world reacted with shock at the news.

Ozzy Osbourne, of Black Sabbath fame, tweeted: "Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side."

Kiss star Gene Simmons said: "Lemmy: Rest In Peace. Shake the heavens, my friend."

Queen guitarist Brian May said: "Sitting here, Re-Tweeting, distracted, and wondering what I can possibly say about our utterly unique friend Lemmy's passing. Ouch."

Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan added: "Rest In Peace Lemmy. A hell of a man who suffered no fools. U shall be missed brother, and, THANK u 4 the years of unwavering kick ass R&R."

Lemmy, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent on Christmas Eve 1945, founded Motorhead in 1975 after being fired from previous band Hawkwind.

According to the band's website, his exit followed his arrest at the Canadian border for possessing cocaine, causing the band to cancel some of a US tour.

The Grammy-award winners are perhaps best known for their single Ace Of Spades, while the fanged face that appears on their album artwork has become one of rock's most recognisable figures.

It took several years for the band to break into popular consciousness, which came when they achieved critical acclaim with the 1980 Ace Of Spades album, which reached number four in the UK chart.

The band recently celebrated their 40th year by releasing their 22nd studio album, Bad Magic, and were set to play dates in the UK and Europe over the next few months as part of a world tour.

Metallica tweeted: "Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists. We're forever grateful for all of your inspiration. RIP", while Judas Priest added: "Words about Lemmy can never be enough so we will simply say farewell Lord Lemmy thank you for the music, the shows."

The Foo Fighters tweeted: "We've lost a friend & legend. My heart is broken. RIP Lemmy. Born To Lose, Lived To Win."

The Kooks tweeted "RIP Lemmy #Legend", while US guitarist and singer-songwriter Dave Navarro said "Peace and love to Lemmy and family! #RIPLemmy".

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment