The metal community world wide has been in mourning since the loss of rock icon Lemmy “Motörhead” Kilmister, who passed away at the age of 70 on December 28,2015 shortly after a terminal medical diagnosis. Metal fans from around the globe began paying their respects, sharing stories, sending thoughts and prayers and even petitioned for a statue of Lemmy to be erected at his favorite watering hole and home away from home, the world famous Rainbow Bar & Grill. After such an enormous and passionate response to his passing, not only will that statue indeed be commissioned to be built and displayed at The Rainbow, but it was decided that the bar would host a 12-hour memorial for Lemmy on Saturday January 9, 2016 in honor of this rock legend. Admittedly, I am not a giant Motörhead fan, but as a former rocker chic and lover of all music, knew this was an event not to be missed. After leaving the comedy club in Hermosa last night (with a guest appearance by Arsenio Hall! Woot woot!) I headed out for Hollywood, naively thinking I would stop in for a drink and see if any rock stars showed up for the cause. As I approached The Strip, I couldn’t help but laugh at my ignorance and GROSS UNDERestimation of the magnitude of this event. The Sunset Strip was on FIRE last night. I am betting you they haven’t seen crowds like this in 20+ years. PACKED TO THE GILLS. It was AWESOME. As if Metalheads had taken over the world…or at least West Hollywood for a night. Fuckin cool, man. Rockers of all varieties, sizes, shapes, get ups and ages jammed the sidewalks for blocks. Traffic was bumper to bumper (think Las Vegas), I am not kidding you. The line outside The Rainbow was at least 500 people long. More long haired dudes, black leather jackets and smokers than I have seen in many many moons. Unbelievably impressive turnout. I just shook my head and laughed at myself for thinking I would just “pop in” and see who was there.
The clubs of The Strip all joined in for a night of Lemmy love and madness where hoards of people loitered outside The Rainbow, The Roxy, The Whiskey and The Viper Room where, knowing I would not get in to the Rainbow anytime soon, I got in line. Little did I know just what I was in for. A magically short wait and $40 later I made my way in to the dark, steamy and overcrowded room where we all stood shoulder to shoulder and rocked out with our devil horns (and iPhones) to the BAE All Star Band. Ahhhh just like the old days when weekends on The Strip was THE place to be.
This mega band and their special guests blew the crowd away. Picture Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, Vince Neil), Billy Morrison (Camp Freddy, The Cult, Billy Idol), Billy Sheehan (Mr Big), Simon Phillips (Judas Priest), Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), Brett Scallions (Fuel), and Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) all on one stage doing what they do best. You gotta love live rock n’ roll. There’s nothing else quite like it.
Playing everything from Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” and “Dancing with Myself,” to David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” to Van Halen’s “Girl You Really Got Me,” to a mind blowing version of Motörhead’s piece de resistance “Ace of Spades”. No matter where we all are now in life, or where/how/if we have drifted away from the rock star lives we once lead, we all came together last night to raise our glasses to Lemmy (thanks again to The Rainbow for creating this event), the man who personified the concept of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and toast what is and always will be forever in our hearts… The undying love for rock n’ roll. Lemmy may have passed on, but his music and the legend that he left behind will live on forever. What. A. Night!