Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, the single driving force and only remaining original member of British metal patriarchs Motörhead, rocks hard and lives hard — a little too hard, German doctors say.
The bassist and raspy vocalist behind one of rock and roll’s most bombastic acts, known to produce no less than 126 decibels during its live shows, was hospitalized Saturday, forcing Motörhead to cancel a handful of European gigs. German physicians diagnosed him with “extreme dehydration, leading to exhaustion.” Amazingly, Lemmy’s obeying his doctors’ orders, taking it easy and getting rest.
“When you’re dealing with a warhorse like Lemmy, it’s not easy to discuss typical normal healthy things, such as a balanced diet and proper fluid intake,” Motörhead manager Todd Singerman explained in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon (July 5). “Look, one time when I spoke to him about the importance of vegetables in a diet, he looked me straight in the eye and said, ’What are you talking about, Todd? These [potato chips] here are part of the vegetable food group.’ So imagine telling him he needs to drink more water because it’s a crazy hot summer in Europe — although in fairness to Lemmy, he did start making an effort by adding extra ice cubes to his Jack and Coke.”
The band’s drummer, Mikkey Dee, said Motörhead have been playing in 100-plus degree heat during some of their most recent gigs, but you wouldn’t have known it by the way Kilmister’s been acting.
“I’m having to drink eight bottles of Gatorade as well as water just to get through these shows. I’m close to passing out,” he said in the statement. “And there’s Lemmy sweating his ass off, drinking his Jack and Coke.”
The statement denies there’s anything more serious to Lemmy’s physical health than exhaustion brought on by … well … partying like a rock star.
“The simple truth is Lemmy’s the classic rock-and-roll juggernaut who has proudly defied human logic for decades,” the band’s manager stated. “But even juggernauts need a bit of maintenance once in a while.”
In late 2000, Motörhead canceled a number of shows so Lemmy could recover from exhaustion, flu and a lung infection. Kilmister was hospitalized in Italy and remained under care for about two weeks (see “Motorhead Cancel European Dates As Lemmy Recovers” ).