Lemmy cuts comeback show short
Motorhead were forced to cut short their first show since frontman Lemmy spent several weeks in hospital, after he found himself too ill to deliver the full set.
Their Friday evening performance at Wacken Open Air in Germany ended at around the half-way mark, with the band having delivered six tracks in a style reported to be slower than usual.
Lemmy received medical attention at the beginning of July after suffering a haematoma (internal bleeding) and was ordered to rest by specialists. Bandmate Phil Campbell revealed to Classic Rock around the same time that the veteran bassist and vocalist, 67, had recently been fitted with a defibrillator to deal with heart problems.
Motorhead later cancelled the remaining shows of their European tour as a result of Lemmy’s health. He later thanked fans for their support then Campbell promised he was on the mend and would be back in action in time for the release of upcoming album Aftershock.
But their Wacken set ended after around 30 minutes, instead of the scheduled 75 minutes.
They performed five songs with unusually long breaks in between. Metal Talk say Lemmy told the crowd: “I’ve been ill recently; I’ve come to play some rock’n'roll and fuck myself even more.” He then left the stage while Campbell played a guitar solo. Witnesses report an “eerie silence” after that, then Lemmy returned for one more song before walking off again.
Wacken boss Thomas Jensen then appeared and told the crowd Motorhead would not be returning, adding he didn’t know what to say about the situation.
Doro Pesch told the festival crowd during her later set that the rock icon was doing “just fine,” while Campbell guested with her band on a cover of Judas Priest’s Breaking The Law. Lemmy’s former band Hawkwind sent a message of support, saying: “Sending all of our love and positive thoughts ttonight. We love you man… take it easy!”
Ahead of the festival the band had said in a statement: “In the face of cancellation reports and other gossip, Motorhead is delighted to announce it will headline Germany’s Wacken Festival for 85,000 fans. The band look forward to comprehensively kicking everyone’s ass, just as they always do.” They did not offer an updated statement following events in Germany, but updated their Facebook cover photo to an image of the band, backs to the camera, applauding a large festival audience.
The three-piece are due to commence a European tour in November, including a series of UK dates with Saxon.