Theodore Dalrymple on Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister

Not as prissy as I thought it was going to be.

Whatever the negative value of his life’s work, however, he was certainly a phenomenon of sociological and social-psychological significance, at least in the Western world. And since it is wrong to speak ill of the dead, or only ill, let me try to mitigate my estimate a little.

Mr. Kilmister was born seventy years ago in Stoke-on-Trent: and, to be perfectly honest, whenever I have arrived in that dreadful place I have thought, though I have not said it out loud, “Oh, fuck!” You know at once when you arrive that nothing can save it; it induces immediately a kind of despairing nihilism even in the most optimistic of souls. Any means to leave Stoke-on-Trent might seem justified.

  • canminuteman

    I’ve been to Stoke on Trent and found it to be a typical small English industrial town. I thought it was a rather interesting place. The industry in Stoke is pottery, and thought it is probably a lot smaller than it was in Victorian times, the whole city is devoted to the pottery business. There are the potters, but there are also the kiln makers and tool makers and glaze and materials makers. There is a really great museum (if you’re into that kind of thing!) about the pottery making history of the town.

    • Justin St.Denis

      Places like that CAN make for a lovely visit, but can also be a living hell as a permanent home for those not predisposed to pottery-making, in this case.

  • warrenzoell

    You are aware the Motorhead’s drummer Phil (Philthy) Animal Taylor died in as well back in November..

  • ismiselemeas

    Lemme was the living embodiment of the middle finger to the British class system. The only thing that mattered was making great rock and roll and he did it every day until he died. He was a brilliant, caustic wit and by all accounts a superb drinking companion. An utterly English man. Fast Eddie Clarke (guitar in the video) has a few words about Lemme and Phil at his website;
    Motörhead were the purest of the British Metal bands.