Rock’s biggest names lined up to pay tribute to Motorhead frontman Lemmy at a star-studded Hollywood funeral.
A tearful Dave Grohl, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Metallica members Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo took turns to share their memorable experiences with the hellraiser, who died last month days after he turned 70.
The memorial service, at the Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Los Angeles, was broadcast live on YouTube and watched by more than 280,000 Motorhead fans around the world.
Former Nirvana drummer Grohl sobbed as he told how he wanted to give his friend a photo of Little Richard, signed by the rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, to him on his birthday but missed the chance.
He said: “He was my hero, he’s the one true rock ‘n’ roller,” adding: “What everyone in this room has learned today is that Lemmy was not only that badass-looking, whiskey drinking, badass mother f***ing rock star, but he had the biggest heart and he set such a great example because he was so kind to everyone.”
The British rocker, who was best known as the only continuous member of Motorhead and its lead singer and bass guitarist, had suffered failing health since August last year and was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of cancer on Boxing Day, just 48 hours before he died.
His son, Paul Inder, 48, led the eulogies and described his father’s determination to keep performing despite his worsening condition and how he sought solace in his spirituality in his final days.
He said: “He wasn’t a religious man and praying for a miracle was something he would have viewed as a delusional act, but he was profoundly spiritual.”
The service saw relatives, friends and employees recount anecdotes, most peppered with expletives and references to his drug and alcohol-fuelled lifestyle.
Slash told the mourners he felt “honoured” to have been good friends with the musician who had “more integrity in one finger than a whole roomful of rock ‘n’ rollers”.
Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister was born in Burslem, Staffordshire and joined Hawkwind in 1971, although he was fired four years later after a drugs arrest. He formed Motorhead in 1975 and remained active as their frontman until his death, with tour dates scheduled for this year.
Those who gave tributes also included Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and WWE wrestler Triple H.
Mikkey Dee, drummer for the three-piece, said in reference to frontman’s excesses: “Try take it easier on the other side Lemmy.”