“We want to be the band that if we moved in next door to you, your lawn would die.”
Aside from Motorhead’s iconic heavy metal legacy which has been well documented in recent years, Ian Fraser Kilmister was celebrated more for his persona as a rock deity than as a brilliant, one-of-kind, inventive bassist.
Lemmy, with his signature Rickenbacker 4001, 4003, and customized 4004 basses, approached the instrument akin to a guitar player gone nutters. Rapidly strumming the bass strings with a plectrum that must be made of stone to absorb such pressure, Lemmy created unique sustained chords – which are further enhanced by his deft command and reverence for massive levels of volume.
Note that Mr. Kilmister named his most beloved amplifiers “No Remorse,” “Killer,” and “Murder One” – among other rather accurate descriptive monikers. Lemmy’s chord voicing technique, coupled with his gargantuan sonic resonance produced harmonic overtones that afforded Motorhead their singular musical identity: no other heavy metal band sounded like them.
Lemmy was also a philosophical bloke who spoke truth to power, as evidenced in the must see documentary which bears his nickname.