The Tao of Lemmy: 18 Great Quotes From the Motorhead Frontman

Words of wisdom from Lemmy Kilmister, who succumbed to cancer on Monday

Motörhead's Lemmy Kilmister, who died on Monday, was known for his irreverent wit and wisdom, as well as for his hard-hitting music. Credit: Lex van Rossen/MAI/Getty

Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister died on Monday, December 28th at the age of 70. The band confirmed his death on its Facebook page. "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," they wrote. "We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words."

Kilmister, for his part, was never one to be at a loss for words. In his book, White Line Fever, Lemmy even had a few for those individuals — like his fans and bandmates — who might be searching for them now: "People don't become better when they're dead; you just talk about them as if they are. But it's not true! People are still assholes, they're just dead assholes!"

It's just one of the pearls of wisdom Lemmy left behind. Here are 17 more:

"The only interesting thing about religion is how many people it's slaughtered." - via Louder Than War

"Religion is stupid anyway. I mean, a virgin gets pregnant by a ghost! You would never get away with that in a divorce court, would you?" - via Radio Metal

"Apparently people don't like the truth, but I do like it; I like it because it upsets a lot of people. If you show them enough times that their arguments are bullshit, then maybe just once, one of them will say, 'Oh! Wait a minute — I was wrong.' I live for that happening. Rare, I assure you." - via White Line Fever


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"As you go through life's rich tapestry, you realize that most people you meet aren't fit to shine your shoes. It's a sad fact, but it's true. A good friend is someone who'd hide you if you were on the run for murder. How many of them do you know?" - via The Independent

"I don't understand people who believe that if you ignore something, it'll go away. That's completely wrong — if it's ignored it gathers strength. Europe ignored Hitler for 20 years. As a result he slaughtered a quarter of the world!" - via White Line Fever

"I don't think it's fair to be waving your dick around when people are minding their own business and might not want to see it." - via White Line Fever

"If you didn't do anything that wasn't good for you it would be a very dull life. What are you gonna do? Everything that is pleasant in life is dangerous." - via The Independent


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"If you're going to be a fucking rock star, go be one. People don't want to see the guy next door on stage; they want to see a being from another planet." - via the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

"People have forgotten that sex is fun. It's the most fun you can have without laughing. People have forgotten that. It's all deadly serious. AIDS. You can get gonorrhea from a blowjob. So what? That's the risk you have to take. If you're going to have sex, fuckin' have sex and be happy about it. Don't be looking over your shoulder all the time.  It ruins everything." - via Rolling Stone

"There was a magazine in England who said I screwed 2,000 women and I didn’t; I said 1,000. When you think about it, it isn't that unreasonable." - via Spin

"People just rip each other to shreds over the years. Nothing kills a relationship like commitment." - via Spin


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"I don't do regrets. Regrets are pointless. It's too late for regrets. You've already done it, haven't you? You've lived your life. No point wishing you could change it." - via Classic Rock

"This entire generation seems to have become pussies, you know? Nobody seems to enjoy themselves much anymore.They are all knocking each other down for enjoying themselves." - via a 1988 interview with David L. Wilson

"Death is an inevitability, isn't it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don't worry about it. I'm ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn't complain. It's been good." - via Classic Rock