Motorhead that one time

I saw Motorhead once, a few years ago at the Roseland. I went because it was Motorhead and I’d never seen Motorhead and I wanted to be able to say I’d seen Motorhead. I wanted to hear Lemmy roar. I wanted to lean into mythical volume.

It was cold outside, sold out inside. So it was hot and chaotic and at one point during the set a guy bounced past me into the void in front of the stage. A few minutes later, his shirt flew past my head, passed to the back of the room one toss at a time. He’s going to be cold later, I thought. Not a very rock and roll moment, but then Motorhead was rock enough for everyone in the room.

After the show, my buddy and I went to a nearby bar. A quiet bar. An empty bar. We ordered beers and we sat there–in silence. We ordered another round, and finished those in silence, too. Finally, I looked at him and said, “I think my spleen hurts. I think Motorhead rearranged my spleen.”

He nodded, and we laughed. Motorhead was everything we hoped Motorhead would be.

Lemmy died yesterday, and if you read anything on him, read this piece by Kaleb Horton, and this by James Parker.

Parker: “Your bones ache, your voice is shot, and the rags of age are upon you. But you keep going. You keep playing. And gradually this becomes the thing about you: You’re still there. You endure, you defy, and the older and gnarlier you get, the more magnificent the rebellion is.”

Horton: “Lemmy was the right guy for the job. Now he’s not here to do it anymore. His office is vacant. Pretty soon, his desk will be emptied out and somebody else’s name will go on the door. That’s a sad damn thing.”



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