I don’t want to change the world
I don’t want the world to change me

I’m surprised so much hell is being raised over the death of Lemmy Kilmister. Could it be that he’s one of the few authentic rock stars left, who’s doesn’t care what you think, who’s doing it for himself?

I think so.

And now he’s gone.

I’d be lying if I said I was the biggest Motorhead fan, and Lemmy’s fascination with Nazis was pretty creepy, but he was nobody other than himself, he gave it all for rock and roll, when that was a religion, an ethos, a way of life, when we looked to our stars for guidance, who at the same time were not giving it.

But for me the apotheosis of Lemmy’s work is that he did with Ozzy Osbourne on the “No More Tears” album, wherein he cowrote lyrics for four songs, including “I Don’t Want To Change The World.”

Remember when we all weren’t desirous of being liked, when being an outsider was a badge of honor? Lemmy did.

Standing on the crossroads, world spinning round and round
Know which way I’m going, you can’t bring me down

Now everybody hangs on the words of rich assholes as if they have the key to life. Used to be life was your own personal adventure, you created it and you owned it.

You know it ain’t easy
You know it ain’t fair
So don’t try to please me
Because I really don’t care

Everybody cares too much today, they’re fearful of offending a potential customer, the sui generis individual has gone away. To the point where when an original dies we lament the loss of past glory.

But Lemmy didn’t.

Don’t tell me stories ’cause yesterday’s glories
Have gone away, so far away

There was no sense of history in rock and roll, the rules were broken again and again, and we looked up to these trailblazers, before the past was canonized in a Hall of Fame that does a good job of excluding those who pushed the envelope, who were dangerous, who were different, who really didn’t care if you liked them or not. You don’t hear Ian Anderson bitching about not being in the R&RHOF or Jon Anderson or Justin Hayward or John Lodge, but they were originals with huge, passionate audiences that the cognoscenti did not approve of. Kind of like Lemmy, he may not have reached as many, but if Patti Smith is in the Hall of Fame as an influencer, he should be too, just read the testimony of all the legendary rockers overwhelmed by his death.

I’m living on an endless road
Around the world for rock and roll

Motorhead never cut “I Don’t Want To Change The World,” but “Hellraiser” appeared on their 1992 album “March Or Die.”

That’s what bands used to do, travel around the world in an air of debauchery, leaving not only death and destruction in their wake, but children. This is the life every red-blooded male wanted a part of, what the groupies wanted to snuggle up to. Don’t mistake today’s touring behemoths with the stars of yesterday… There were no cameras, your life was as wild as you could imagine, you made it up as you went along, and you had millions hanging on every word.

Sometimes it feels so tough
But I still ain’t had enough

Nights at the Rainbow, endless tours, Lemmy kept on keepin’ on. He abused his body and continued to live the rock and roll lifestyle while too many of his contemporaries, especially those who came thereafter, were sucking up to those with the money, the faux stars known as bankers and techies, who don’t have the cojones to march into the wilderness on their wits alone, with no VC money, willing to do something unpopular, winning all the while on their personality.

Feeling all right in the noise and the light
But that’s what lights my fire

It can never be captured in video, you have to be there, to feel the pulse, the emotion, this guy Lemmy on stage WAS ROCK AND ROLL!

Walking out on another stage
Another town, another place
Sometimes I don’t feel right
Nerves wound up too damn tight

That’s what being a rock star is all about, the trappings come last, first and foremost it’s a job, wherein the travel is endless and you’re frequently unaware of the burg you’re in, but you keep on nonetheless. Many do drugs just to cope, others drink copious amounts, to come down from the high of being on stage, experiencing all the adulation and the noise. It’s why all the richies want access, because they don’t have that in their own lives… No one’s gonna cheer when Mark Zuckerberg takes the stage, certainly not Lloyd Blankfein.

People keep telling me it’s bad for my health
But kicking back don’t make it
Out of control, I play the ultimate role
But that’s what lights my fire

And it lit our fire too. You couldn’t get a ticket, rock and roll ruled the universe. That’s what got Lemmy involved, he needed to be closer, being a roadie was good enough.

And then he played. And played and played. For decades. He couldn’t do anything else, he’d sacrificed his entire life for rock and roll.

Like me.

Like you.

It’s our God.

And when a parishioner dies we reel, we testify, we can’t believe the Grim Reaper has taken another.

But then we circle the wagons, push a button and crank it up. Because we were born hellraisers. We’ve got contempt for the man, we ain’t selling out to no corporation, our lives are about freedom to a pounding soundtrack turned up to 11.

Never forget it.

Long live the Ace of Spades!

“Hellraiser”- Spotify

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