Rock music, especially heavy metal, would never have been the same without one of its most iconic figureheads; a man so legendary that he’s identifiable by only one-word name – Lemmy. But apart from his musical skills, the vocalist/bassist also liked body ink. Despite only having three, Lemmy loved his tattoos so much that when they faded over the years, he had them spruced up by celebrity tattoo artist Kat Von D. The session was then featured in an episode of the popular tattoo show LA Ink.
Considering Lemmy’s influence in both the music and tattoo industry, many fans paid homage to the iconic musician after he passed away through their own body ink creations. Among the first to remember Lemmy was the Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl. Long time close friends Brent Hinds (Mastodon vocalist) and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) also etched the memory of Lemmy permanently on their skin by getting their own tattoos as tributes to the rock icon.
But aside from high profile personalities, fans were also quick to share their love and respect for Lemmy. Tattoodo featured as many as 20 tattoos, all in honour of one of the world’s greatest musical legends. They range from Lemmy’s image to Motörhead album art to other objects associated with the band.
A Motörhead fan and his tattoo artist even got recognition after the tattoo on the former’s lower leg showing Lemmy’s face won the Best Coloured Portrait in last year’s DC Tattoo Expo. Blabbermouth mentioned that Farkas shared the award with Evan Olin, the Rhode Island-based tattoo artist who did the handiwork, and stated that the ink art took more than 9 hours to finish.
Admittedly inspired by The Beatles, Lemmy’s passion for music got him acquainted with other 60’s musical stars like Jimi Hendrix. But for someone as musically talented as Lemmy, just following the footsteps of another artist was never enough. He would later on forge his own path which eventually led to the formation of Motörhead.
Fast forward four decades later, and Motörhead’s albums are still adored by fans. Now, the band is considered among hard rock’s greatest acts and a major contributor to the foundations of heavy metal.
Motörhead’s influence became so popular that the band has been celebrated outside the world of music as well through games which feature either the members of the band or their music or even both. The Motörhead slot title included in the thematic slots lineup on the Slingo gaming platform incorporates the band’s tracks as its background music. Even the band members themselves got involved in the gaming industry by collaborating with developers for the role-playing game Through the Ages, which Loudwire specified as part of the band’s celebration for their 40th anniversary.
But most of all, Motörhead will always be remembered because of Lemmy as he was the mastermind behind the band’s music, and until his passing, he was the only original member. His music will live on, and now his image, too – through the tattoos of loyal fans worldwide.
Words: Charlotte Williams