Monday, February 06, 2012

Lemmy is, or is not, God

Lemmy is God, right? Except God doesn't exist, or is dead, or both. As Lemmy does exist and isn't dead (yet) he therefore must not be God. Perhaps Lemmy is just a god, small g. Part of a rock and roll pantheon. An iconic figure representing all that is pure and great about some specific part of our collective heavy metal experience. A standard against we can measure ourselves. A moral compass in the dark and stormy night.

Let me say right now Lemmy is one of a precious few to stay his course in the face of the prevailing winds of better business. He cocked his walk, and rocked his talk, when it would have been much "smarter" to make concessions. Smarter perhaps, but not wiser. Lemmy now has something money can't buy, and fame is not equal to. Respect.

Lemmy doesn't seem to regard what he is doing as business. He holds very close to the attitude that music is a virus. It infects, mutates, and spreads. Success is in the scale of the spread. The more people that hear him, the more music that is bears the telltale scars of his sound, the greater the impact Motorhead has on the music world, the better. Fuck profit. Any money he does make just goes into boots, gear, and the next project. Like a viking, using loot from one campaign to finance the next.

The result? Lemmy is a hard working musician with many years experience. Other players, with a fraction of his credibility, respect, and catalog have manged to cash in much more efficiently. Do less, make more, get out. Still getting paid years after they last picked up an instrument. Where are they now? The beach. Or maybe on to a new career, with a pocket full of cash and some great stories about their wild days in a band nobody remembers. Honestly though, these pussies are successful by most measures. So where does that leave our hero? Still working as hard as an opening act on a national tour supporting a band 20 years younger than him. And still wearing out his custom leather boots from kicking so much ass.

Fuck everybody, absolutely everybody, who thinks they deserve to have it better than Lemmy. If you think whatever songs you have written, dues you have paid, or shows you have played have have "earned" you grandiose fortune and glory just check yourself. If you are bitching, angling or worse yet litigating to reap more for yourself that the lot that is Lemmy's life, get a fucking grip.

He is a god. The top of a mountain. An ideal to which we aspire to with Sisyphus's fixed determination. To feel entitled to more is hubris and sacrilege. That doesn't mean you can't get more, take all you can. Fill your goddamn boots for all I care. But appreciate it. Take it for what it is, a lucky break. Don't ever confuse what you have with what you earned, or what you want with what you deserve. Always measure success against god's own words "Everything louder than everything else". It's music, nobody said it was easy, pretty, fair or would make you rich. But if you let it, it just might make you happy. If you're really good it might make you a god.

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