GENE SIMMONS: LEMMY Was 'Unassuming' And 'Non-Judgmental' With 'A Heart Of Gold'

January 10, 2016

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has posted the following message on the band's Facebook page:

"[On Saturday] we attended Lemmy Kilmister's [MOTÖRHEAD] memorial event… To celebrate the man, and the legend. Attending in honor of Lemmy were: Sharon, Ozzy [Osbourne] and Geezer [Butler, BLACK SABBATH bassist]. Dave Grohl, who testified to what MOTÖRHEAD meant to him. And Lars Ulrich [METALLICA], who told the story of the time he first met Lem, as an 18-year-old kid with big dreams, went to visit Lem at the Sunset Marquis and in short order threw up on himself. And Triple H, who waxed poetic about the love he had for the man. And Rob Halford, Slash, Duff [McKagan], Scott Ian, Eric Singer. And many more.

"My own story involved meeting Lem in 1974, or perhaps it was in early 1975, when his band HAWKWIND (named after sci-fi/fantasy writer's Michael Moorcock's book of the same name, which I read and loved as a teenager) opened for KISS somewhere in Middle America. HAWKWIND was a psychedelic rock band, eclectic, with a wonderful 6'2” belly dancer: Stacia.

"Lem and I didn't meet up again until a few years later. And continued to run into each other backstage at shows, or at big festivals, when MOTÖRHEAD would be on the bill… always with a big 'How are you.' And a welcoming hug.

"A few years ago, I was filming a TV show called 'Rock School'. It was filmed in England (first season at Christ Church Hospital). I was teaching young 14-year-olds to put down the booze and the hooch, and pick up an instrument and learn to care about something else in life, like putting together a rock band, and writing your own song for the first time. And they did. And the transformation of these young people into committed rockers, who cared, was inspiring.

"But how do I end the first season on an up?...After these young people did all the work, what's the payoff? So, I called Lem and his management, who happened to be playing London at the time, and they kindly agreed to let this new band, who had never played or recorded anywhere, open up for MOTÖRHEAD at the sold-out Hammersmith Odeon, in London England.

"Backstage before the show, the kids were nervous as hell, as you can imagine. I walked into Lemmy's room and thanked him for giving them a chance. And he responded quite naturally, that someone had once given him a chance. I said thank you again, and said I had to go into the young band's room to bolster their confidence level before they went on stage.

"Lemmy immediately stood up and despite my objections, walked into the new band's room, and what I saw, were young, wide-eyed kids getting the schooling of their life, from someone who'd been there and done that. And more importantly, he reminded the kids that once upon a time, he was them. And that anything is possible.

"And that night, these young rockers went out there with fire in their veins, and rocked the house.

"That was Lemmy. Unassuming. Non-judgmental. With a heart of gold.

"I never heard anyone, fan or other bands ever say anything bad about Lem. I've certainly heard 'asshole' thrown my way, once or twice. But never at Lemmy.

"A great man.

"Lemmy was mostly comfortable in his own skin. And perhaps that's something we can all learn from."

Find more on Lemmy
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).