A former bandmate from Blackpool has paid tribute to rock star Lemmy following the Motorhead frontman’s death.
The musician, who died in Los Angeles on Monday just days after celebrating his 70th birthday, was a member of the Blackpool band The Rockin’ Vickers during the 1960s.
Blackpool-based car dealer and former Rockin’ Vickers lead singer Harry Feeney said today: “He had the image of a hard man on TV, but he was a gentle giant, and a very thoughtful person.”
He recalled Lemmy being an instant hit after he joined the band.
Harry said: “He was a fan of our band before joining forces with our two road managers and setting our gear up for us. We didn’t pay him a wage, we just fed him and kept him.
“Then the band had a big bust up and we were left with only three of us. Lenny turned round and said ‘I can do this’, and he got on stage and he was brilliant.
The fans really loved him, I was the lead singer but they would scream for LemmyHarry Feeney
“Altogether he was with us about three-and-a-half years.
“The fans really loved him, I was the lead singer but they would scream for Lemmy.
“We kept in touch and whenever he was in the north of England we would meet up. The last time was 2012 at The Apollo in Manchester.
“But over the last two years he had to have a mini defibrillator and he was diabetic. We all thought we were going to get together in November but he couldn’t do it because he wasn’t well.
“So we exchanged greetings through Facebook etc.
“His death is so sad, but he led the type of life that meant he shouldn’t really have been here 10 years ago.
“He made a lot of friends in Blackpool and we would settle back here during the off-season.”
The Rockin’ Vickers were originally called Rev Black and The Rockin’ Vicars, then abbreviated to The Rockin’ Vicars, but in order to have a chance to get more gigs or even a record contract, they changed their name to ‘Rockin’ Vickers’.
At the time Lemmy went by the name Ian Willis although his real name was Ian Kilmister. He went on to form Hawkwind before making his name with Motorhead.
He died following a short battle with cancer, having only received the diagnosis on Boxing Day, the band said.
A post on the band’s Facebook page, which was also shared by the band’s current drummer Mikkey Dee, said: “There is no easy way to say this ... our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer.
“He had learnt of the disease on December 26, and was at home, sitting in front of his favourite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its way down the street, with his family.
“We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.
“We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please ... play Motorhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few. Share stories.
“Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself. HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.”