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Grammy Producer on Lemmy Kilmister Tribute: ‘The Metalheads Have Dave Grohl To Thank for That’

Kevin Winter / Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Kevin Winter / Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Almost one week removed from the 2016 installment of the Grammy awards and fans and musicians are still talking about the tribute performances that took place to honor some of the biggest icons who passed away last year. Lady Gaga performed a divisive tribute to David Bowie while all-star group Hollywood Vampires honored Motorhead‘s Lemmy Kilmister with a blistering performance of “Ace of Spades” with an introduction by Dave Grohl. The move surprised rock fans who were overjoyed their hero was so thoroughly recognized and now we know how it all came to be.

Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich admittedly didn’t have a Lemmy tribute in the works when he was outlining the ‘In Memoriam’ segment. “I will confess I didn’t have a lot of Motorhead on my iPad,” said Ehrlich via Billboard. “The metalheads have Dave Grohl to thank for that, because when I asked Dave if he would introduce that [In Memoriam] segment, he said to me, ‘I’ll do it if you do something for Lemmy.'”

The Hollywood Vampires performance was raw and abrasive to those not tuning in specifically for rock. The sound exemplified what Motorhead and Lemmy Kilmister were about as Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp, Joe Perry, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan ripped through their version of the classic song.

When introducing the band, Grohl stated, “Many of us play rock and roll, but very few of us are rock and roll. Lemmy Kilmister was rock and roll. He was a rebel and an outsider, one of a kind and a way of life. He was Motorhead. He was a legend and I was proud to call him my friend. I have an ‘Ace of Spades’ tattoo, but the truth is Lemmy and Motorhead left their mark on me a long time ago, just as they did for everybody who’s ever loved rock and roll. As Lemmy taught us in ‘Ace of Spades,’ the pleasure is to play. So tonight, I wanna thank Lemmy and the late Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor for their music and everything it meant.”

Lemmy passed away on Dec. 28, just four days after his 70th birthday and two days after learning he had terminal neck and brain cancer. The official cause of death was revealed to be prostate cancer along with cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure.

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