Henry Rollins Farewells Lemmy and Bowie

Henry Rollins Farewells Lemmy and Bowie

by Henry Rollins | February 17th, 2016 12:58:PM EST

For fans all over the world, it was a cosmic 1-2 punch to lose Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie within the space of a few days. Both were adored and respected by millions all over the world. I count myself as one who will truly miss both of these unique, amazing artists.

Is there any silver lining to be found in this otherwise dark cloud? I believe there is.

Not only did both give us staggering catalogues that we can listen to forever, they both handed in excellent records as their final artistic contributions.

David Bowie's Blackstar is start-to-finish brilliance. Not only is the music incredible and not relying on past allies, Mr. B brought in fresh talent and made what is easily one of his best records, which is a hell of a thing to say considering the astonishing work he gave us over the decades. Blackstar's lyrics deal with his condition and what he knew the outcome would be but unsurprisingly, bring so much more to bear. He was mysterious and singular to the end. After I got the sad news of his passing, I listened to Blackstar three times that day as I went through states of fascination and grief. David Bowie is one of the greatest things to happen to music.

Motörhead's Bad Magic finds the band in fine, bone crushing form. They were amazingly consistent. After so many albums over so many years, you would think that things would have settled in to dialled-in tedium but the band are absolutely ferocious. On Bad Magic, Lemmy gives one of his best lyrics that perhaps sums up the man on the song "Till the End".

"Don't tell me what to do my friend/ You'll break more hearts than you can mend/I know myself like no one else/ Nothing to defend. All I know is who I am /I'll never let you down/The last one you can trust until the end."

That last lyric in particular is how I will always remember Lemmy. He was a damn good man who kept it real. I once asked him for some help on a benefit record I was making. He said yes. I asked him why it was so easy to get him to come aboard. "You're my friend. You said you needed me." THAT was Lemmy.

I would not necessarily think that both men have the same fans but I wouldn't go anywhere near the idea that the interests would be mutually exclusive. The truth is that we just lost two massively influential and inspirational forces in the world of music.

Our sadness is a testament to just how great music is and how truly important it is to have it in our lives on a continual basis. Both men left us with soundtracks for our lives. This is to be celebrated. There is no way they would want us to be sad for too long. Better yet, we should keep those records spinning.

From issue #772, available now.

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