SAXON singer Biff Byford has released the following statement regarding the passing of MOTÖRHEAD mainman Lemmy Kilmister:
"I knew Lemmy for 36 years. If you were his friend, you were his friend for life.
"He has dealt his last card.
"He was a defiant rebel to the end who loved his music and never compromised.
"My heart goes out to his family and friends.
"The MOTÖRHEAD organisation are in mourning for their friend and mentor to the management and their fantastic crew.
"Let's remember Lemmy as he wanted to be: as an iconic songwriter and lyricists and rock and roll rebel.
"I'm sure Phil [Campbell] and Mikkey [Dee] are in shock this was their greatest tour, and I watched them play every night and they sounded great.
"Sad, sad day.
"Wherever you are, mate, give 'em hell."
Lemmy, who just celebrated his 70th birthday on Christmas Eve (December 24), learned two days later, on December 26, that he was afflicted with an aggressive form of cancer. He died two days later, on Monday (December 28) at his home in Los Angeles.
Lemmy had been dealing with serious health issues for the past two years, including getting a pacemaker in 2013 and suffering from a hematoma last year. But despite 40 years of hard living and drinking, he continued to tour and record at a feverish pace.
The band was forced to cancel or postpone a number of shows this year due to Lemmy's poor health, which also forced him to cut back on his drinking and give up smoking.
While MOTÖRHEAD itself was revered by metal and punk fans, Lemmy himself became a rock and roll icon and elder statesman, the embodiment of a musician who lived the rock lifestyle to the fullest and never stopped.