On Saturday night, a day after Motörhead played an abbreviated six-song set at Wacken Open Air in Germany, I got a text message from a friend, stating that an English tour manager said that frontman Lemmy had passed. News of his ‘passing’ wasn’t able to be confirmed online, and given that this wasn’t the first time that he’d been rumored dead, we were hoping against hope, even as the rumor started to spread online. However, given that he’d been outfitted with a defibrillator and only made it through a portion of the band’s set, this seemed like it might have a grain of truth to it. Thankfully, early Sunday morning, I heard back from Wes Orshoski, co-director of Lemmy’s 2010 documentary that the frontman was still alive and resting up. Yesterday evening, Motörhead gave an update via their Facebook page:
“The show had to go on because that’s how Lemmy rolls. Even though he was not 100% fit, he refused to feel he was letting the 85,000 Wacken fans down. They kicked ass in the 100+degree heat for a shortened, but powerful, set before, Lemmy finally realized he might have bitten off a little more than he could chew. Thus he will embark upon the recuperation recommended. We know that rumors are flying around, but once he fully recharges, Motörhead will be back, don’t you worry!”
It seems like it might have been premature to assume that Motörhead would be able to play without Lemmy’s full recovery, and if he wasn’t following doctor’s orders, he obviously put himself and the future of the band at risk. Whether it was Lemmy’s call, or the band and management pushing to get the band playing live again, this will hopefully serve as a wakeup call for the organization. The guy’s 67 years old, and if this doesn’t serve as a reminder of his mortality and his need to rest up, it’s hard to know what will.