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Lemmy Kilmister, bassist and singer for Motorhead, has died of cancer at age 70. In its four decade career, Motorhead left an indelible mark on heavy metal, influencing the likes of Metallica and countless others.
Many people dismiss heavy metal, and those who play it and listen to it, as mindless and meaningless. Read the following words by Lemmy, once a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and see what you think.
“I am not, nor have I ever been, a racist. Nor should you be. How can you hate a race? Can you not, with your brain (which seems to be inter-racially supplied) distinguish between people who are okay and people who are assholes? Politicians foster racism—it keeps us fighting each other, and that keeps us from throwing them out of office. Vietnam–there’s a thing—blacks and whites, and Japanese and Vietnamese, and Irish and Indians—fighting together. For the wrong cause, though no less bravely. Do you think we could give bravery a fucking rest? Except in the case of a fire, or a woman and child trapped in Oklahoma City? Being scared of people makes you kill them. We got probes in space that go to the stars, and we might go soon, ourselves. What are we going to take with us? Hate? WORK AGAINST IT. Hasta la vista, motherfuckers.”—from Lemmy’s September 1995 magazine column in RIP.
Hasta la vista, Lemmy.
Lee Ballinger, CounterPunch’s music columnist, is co-editor of Rock and Rap Confidential author of the forthcoming book Love and War: My First Thirty Years of Writing, interviewed Honkala for CounterPunch. RRRC is now available for free by emailing Ballinger at: email@example.com.