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 theindiespiritualist.com. 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 public speaker, writer, recovering addict, spiritual director, and author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality (Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster) and Everything Mind: What I've Learned About Hard Knocks, Spiritual Awakening and the Mind-Blowing Truth of it All (Sounds True). He writes for ORIGIN Magazine, Huffington Post, and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine, and has spoken and performed at Wanderlust Festival, Yoga Journal Conference, Sedona World Wisdom Days, Kripalu, Celebrate Your Life and more. Chris is passionate about his work with people who are in the process of healing or struggling with addictions of all kinds. He speaks and leads groups in detoxes, yoga studios, rehabs, youth centers, 12-step meetings, hospitals, conferences, and festivals worldwide. He is a member of the advisory board for Drugs over Dinner.