MIKKEY DEE Looks Back On MOTÖRHEAD's Final Tour: 'That Was A Tough One'

May 8, 2024

During a new appearance on the "Riki Rachtman's Cathouse" podcast, former MOTÖRHEAD drummer Mikkey Dee reflected on the band's final tour, which concluded on December 11, 2015, just two weeks before the passing of MOTÖRHEAD frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, that was a tough one. See, I was trying to make us postpone that. We were struggling a little bit, and I said, 'Maybe we should just take a break,' but the one that did not want to break was Lemmy. He said, 'Absolutely not. We've gotta do this tour.' And he wanted to be on stage all the time. And that's how he was. But we had some trouble with Lemmy starting to get a little sick — more sick than [before] — and he was more tired and stuff. And that was a tough tour."

He continued: "Here's the thing: if I had to give 150 percent out there, and [MOTÖRHEAD guitarist] Phil [Campbell did as well], now afterwards, I can't even imagine. Lemmy must've given 500 percent to be able to get through these shows. I mean, we played the 11th of December [of 2015] as the last show in Berlin, and then [Lemmy] passed away the 28th, just a few weeks later. And the guy was rocking his ass off. So, for me, it's impossible to even think back that you can actually do that. So can you imagine how much effort it took for him to stay on that stage? I came up with all kinds of ideas… 'Cause he had a back problem, too, and he said 'the bass is so heavy, the back is on fire.' But that must have been parts of his disease, now [thinking about it] afterwards. But he had a back problem. So he said he had to stand on one leg at a time. And it was like fire on his back. And I said, 'Maybe you should take a barstool and maybe…' And he goes, 'No way, Mikkey. Are you crazy? I will never sit down at the show.' And again, not compromising, not changing anything. So all the credit to Lem right there. He really died with his boots on."

Mikkey added: "I think back about that tour a little bit sometimes, and it was just unbelievable that we could go through with it."

Dee previously reflected on MOTÖRHEAD's final tour in an interview with Finland's Chaoszine. He said: "[Lemmy] was very excited. He loved doing this stuff. And I do remember that we were having a pretty tough time. Lemmy was sick. He was tired. And we could not get him off the road. Both me and Phil said, 'Look, let's break.' … Let's go back to [Lemmy's hometown of Los Angeles], rest, eat and we pick up the European tour again. But he said, 'No, no, no, no, no. We've gotta play.' 'Okay.' So me and Phil were talking, and we said, 'Instead of argue with Lemmy, trying to get him off the road, let's just help him instead.' And I remember, the shows, we had to adjust a lot of stuff, but I think we and he did fantastic. I mean, the last show was 11th of December in Berlin, and then a couple of weeks later, the man is gone. So, trust me, me and Phil put in 150 percent and Lemmy must have put in 300 percent to get through the set."

Dee was also once again asked if he and Campbell would ever go out and perform MOTÖRHEAD music together, with someone else stepping in to play Lemmy's parts. He responded: "Well, you never know. I mean, me and Phil wrote great music. But he's fully involved with his boys. And I'm fully involved with SCORPIONS. We're touring a lot. Not right now, obviously, but we're on the road all the time with the SCORPS. So I don't say no; there's always possibilities. But, of course, as I explained in, I think a podcast, I said, and some people misunderstood this, or actually, they didn't — actually the press wrote the wrong things. I said, 'We will never, ever get back together and replace Lemmy. That's impossible.' I said, 'But doing little constellations, doing some tribute stuff, that's great.' That's very, very different. And I think they said something, 'Mikkey will never play MOTÖRHEAD again.' That was the main headline on Blabbermouth. I said that's not what I said at all. [Editor's note: Contrary to Mikkey's assertion, the actual headline for the February 2023 BLABBERMOUTH.NET story that he is referring to was 'MIKKEY DEE: 'We Will Never Tour' Under MOTÖRHEAD Name Again'.] Of course I will play MOTÖRHEAD. But I will never be a part of trying to put MOTÖRHEAD as a band out there again with some other fucking idiot supposed to take Lemmy's place. So that's all I said. But to do this ['Mikkey Dee With Friends' thing], [it's] fantastic. And, of course, we'd like to plan something bigger than this in the future, hopefully."

Lemmy died on December 28, 2015 at the age of 70 shortly after learning he had been diagnosed with cancer.

MOTÖRHEAD had to cancel a number of shows in 2015 because of Lemmy's poor health, although the band did manage to complete the aforementioned European tour a couple of weeks before his death.

In June 2020, it was announced that Lemmy would get the biopic treatment. The upcoming film, "Lemmy", will be directed by Greg Olliver, who previously helmed the 2010 documentary of the same name, "Lemmy".

A custom-made urn containing Lemmy's ashes is on permanent display in a columbarium at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

Image credit: Paiste Cymbals

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