RIP Lemmy!

December 29, 2015 by Chris Grosso

Lemmy Chris Grosso

RIP Lemmy… and thank you!

“I’ll share another example of interbeing and dependent arising based on an experience I had a few years ago while covering a Motörhead/Slayer concert for my website I had a nifty photo pass that gave me access to the area directly in front of the stage (lucky me, I know). So there I was, standing up front waiting for Motörhead to come on, when all of a sudden the stage went dark, and the sound of a guitar being plugged in ripped through the PA system. The crowd began to go crazy, and chants of “MOTÖRHEAD!” roared throughout the stadium. Fifteen seconds later, the lights came back on, and there, standing roughly a foot in front of me, was greatness himself, Motörhead’s bassist/singer . . . Lemmy-fucking-Kilmister!

I’ve covered a lot of shows and interviewed a lot of bands—and actors, comedians, spiritual teachers (it’s part of my job)—and rarely do I get that caught up in the whole star-struck thing, but this was Lemmy, a metal god among gods. An interesting thing happened roughly a minute into Motörhead’s first song (after getting over my fanboy nerd-out, of course), when I noticed Lemmy’s Rickenbacker bass. It was a model I hadn’t seen him play before, and it was insanely gorgeous. It had an all-natural wood finish complemented by a beautiful, hand-carved leaf inlay that covered the entire body of the instrument. 

As I was standing there in awe of Lemmy’s bass, my mind naturally gravitated toward the teachings of interbeing (spiritual nerd problems, I suppose) and I began thinking about how his bass—before becoming the instrument of a metal god—was first a part of a tree. As I thought about that tree, my thoughts then turned to the sun, and how without its nurturing rays, the tree wouldn’t have been able to grow in the first place. Of course it wasn’t just sunshine that fostered the tree’s growth—there had to be oxygen, and rain, and soil. Going a step further, I contemplated the fine artisans at Rickenbacker who made the bass, and the equipment in their shop they used to make it. Then I thought about the workers themselves, and how it was thanks only to their parents that they were born in the first place.

So, while I was standing there admiring Lemmy’s amazingly badass instrument, I saw everything that had to inter-be for the Rickenbacker to have made its way into Lemmy’s hands. It didn’t end there. I continued thinking about how the same sunshine, clouds, and rain that had to inter-be for the tree to grow so it could birth Lemmy’s bass also had to inter-be in order for the food to grow that you and I, and hell, even Lemmy, eat on a daily basis. (Though, truth be told, I’ve often pictured Lemmy as someone who eats car engines rather than actual food.)

So to bring this full circle, what had begun only moments earlier as Motörhead ripping into their first song of the night culminated in my experience of interbeing and dependent arising as illuminated through Lemmy Kilmister’s bass guitar. Everything was all right there—the trees, sunshine, clouds, rain, you, me, Lemmy, and the universe as a whole—all interbeing with one another and coming to fruition in Lemmy’s bass.” — Excerpt from EVERYTHING MIND

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Chris Grosso is a writer, public speaker, mental health youth group facilitator, and author with Simon & Schuster. He also writes for Revolver Magazine, Fangoria, and has spoken at a bunch of fancy-schmancy festivals and conferences (as well as even more events that were significantly less than fancy-schmancy). Chris's podcast, The Indie Spiritualist, is hosted on Ram Dass's Be Here Now Network.