“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.”
From his breakthrough with Hawkwind in the late 60s, Lemmy was a man who lived with little to no compromise, reinvented how the bass could be played and gave us music that would endure the ages. While his formative years with Hawkwind would shape him as a musician, it was with his own band Motörhead he would change the face of rock music. Black Sabbath had laid the foundations of metal with heavy monolithic riffs, but Lemmy bought speed and no-nonsense aggression, without which we would never have had any of the 80s thrash or hardcore metal that followed. In Lemmy’s vision, of course, it was all one thing: rock ‘n’ roll. He just played it faster and louder than his heroes and predecessors and set a new benchmark in the process.
“Music, as many people have said, is the universal language. Of course, points are made that make you think about things, but ultimately it makes you feel. Songs start to define periods of your life…and that’s kind of the beauty of it.” — Scott Weiland
On December 3rd 2015, vocalist Scott Weiland died in his sleep while on tour with his band The Wildabouts. The forty eight year old musician had a chequered history with addiction problems, but cut a forceful presence onstage and his career gained him a legion of fans.
On June 27th 2015, legendary bassist Chris Squire lost his battle with leukaemia. He was known to millions as the founding – and only constant – member of progressive rock titans Yes. His trademark sound provided the heard of the band’s ever evolving sound for twenty one studio albums and several live releases over a period of five decades.
Whether delivering a psychedelic sound, as per the first two Yes releases – an extension of musical themes practiced in Squire’s earlier band The Syn – or shaping the progressive rock of the seventies, or even the pop/rock band Yes eventually became in the 1980s, Squire could often be relied upon to steer his musical vision with some absolutely stellar performances.
Legendary blues musician BB King passed away on May 14th 2015 at the age of 89.
When it comes to the blues, fewer names are more famous. Across a career spanning over seven decades, Mr Riley B King became a legend, a key figure in reshaping the blues from its Delta roots into the full scale electric sound with which it has endured musical fashions.
Legendary keyboard player Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan passed away on 3rd December 2014 following a stroke. He was 69 years old.
Mac was a well loved musician throughout a career spanning several decades. He first came to prominence as a member of Small Faces, before becoming an integral member of the Rod Stewart fronted Faces. Later work saw Mac performing with The Bump Band, with Faces bandmate Ron Wood in The New Barbarians and as a full-time member of Billy Bragg’s backing band The Blokes.
Mac also lent his talents to many sessions including recordings by Frank Black and Izzy Stradlin.