Saturday December 28 marked the fourth anniversary of the passing of metal icon Lemmy Kilmister. The Motörhead leader died just days after his 70th birthday, and his imprint on the world of music remains.
In honor of the day, Metallica shared a clip of the band performing alongside Lemmy in 2009, playing the classic “Too Late Too Late” with the bassist and frontman. “We miss you, Lemmy,” the band wrote beside the video, along with the trademark “Ace of Spades.”
In 2016, Metallica paid tribute to Lemmy with the song, “Murder One,” from their Hardwired... To Self-Destruct album. Named after the infamous amp that he played with, it features several Motörhead song titles to honor the legend.
“Without him I don’t think Metallica would be around at all, and probably not a lot of other bands,” James Hetfield said of Lemmy upon the release of the song. “He was an inspiration. He was an unwavering strength, but not unapproachable. Very down to earth, very real. Had great philosophies on life. He was a lovable character, even though he looked completely menacing, he was loveable. And he’ll be greatly missed. So I thought why not celebrate him and his life in one of our songs. That’s what it means to me.”
Earlier this year as Ozzy Osbourne discussed his own 70th birthday, the Prince of Darkness talked about the passing of Lemmy, in an interview with Metal Hammer. “Lemmy died a while ago. Before he died, he said to me, ‘Well, I could have 10 more years if I did all the proper things, but I did things my way,’” Osbourne explained. “He knew what he was doing. It’s sad and I miss him being around.”
Lemmy is immortalized with a statue outside of the Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood, CA. He appears in one of this last interviews in a documentary about the rock spot released earlier this year. “The history of rock and roll is in here,” Kilmister shared.
Speaking of history, Motörhead is one of the bands on the ballot for the 2020 class for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The official list of inductees will be announced in January.