Apr 19, 2024 4 min read

And Finally! Lemmy continues busy post-death schedule, as Metallica’s James Hetfield embeds ashes in new tattoo

Metallica’s James Hetfield this week unveiled a new tattoo on his middle finger, created using ink mixed with some of late Motorhead frontman Lemmy’s ashes. It will mean that Lemmy “is still able to fly the bird at the world”. Check out this and more of this week’s funniest music news stories

And Finally! Lemmy continues busy post-death schedule, as Metallica’s James Hetfield embeds ashes in new tattoo

Since his death in 2015, Motorhead frontman Lemmy has still managed to remain alarmingly active in the music scene. Active is perhaps not the word, but he does get about, thanks to the wide distribution of small amounts of his ashes.

This week, Metallica frontman James Hetfield revealed that a portion of the legendary bassist will continue to tour the world, embedded in a tattoo on Hetfield’s middle finger. 

In a post on Instagram showing off the new ink/ash combo - appropriately an ace of spades -  Hetfield said that the tattoo was “a salute to my friend and inspiration Mr Lemmy Kilmister. Without him, there would be NO Metallica”.

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The tattoo, he said, would mean that Lemmy “is still able to fly the bird at the world”.

Can there be a greater tribute? Well, in the case of Lemmy, there is actually room for comparison, because numerous people are (or have been) in possession of Lemmy’s remains. 

At Lemmy’s request, small amounts of his ashes have been distributed to close friends and family encased in bullets over the years since he died of prostate cancer. Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, Ugly Kid Joe’s Whitfield Crane, Hanoi Rocks’ Michael Monroe, Warlock’s Doro Pesch, and former MTV ‘Headbanger’s Ball’ presenter Riki Rachtma are among those to have received ashes in this form.

If you’re wondering if any of those bullets have ever been fired (Hunter S Thompson had his ashes shot out of a cannon, so you never know), it seems that these are not actually functioning ammunition. And while many of those bullets have remained in their display cases, they have also been removed for various tributes around the world.

Hetfield’s new tribute is not actually the first tattoo to incorporate some of his ashes, Motorhead’s tour manager Eddie Rocha and production assistant Emma Cederblad already sporting similar ink on their legs

More of Lemmy’s ashes were scattered at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany last year, seeing him return to the event that Motorhead had played more than almost any other band for one last time. 

At the time, the band’s manager Todd Singemann explained the thinking behind the wide distribution of Lemmy’s ashes, saying, “Wacken was one of Lemmy’s dearest homes and we’re delighted he has a place here forever. He was a man of the people, and as such, he ‘lived’ in many places worldwide. It’s our aim to allow him to rest permanently in all his ‘homes’ globally and allow his fans worldwide to have a place close to them where they can both pay respects and celebrate his enormous continuing legacy and influence”.

Last month it was announced that more of Lemmy’s ashes would go on annual display at the Bloodstock festival in Derbyshire each year, and be housed at the Rock City venue in Nottingham between events. 

Where else could Lemmy end up? It seems unlikely that this is the last we’ve heard of him, given that he’s already remained so exceptionally busy in death. 

Now check out what some still living artists have been up to, in this round up of the week’s more amusing music new stories…

Blur frontman Damon Albarn kicks off at lacklustre Coachella crowd
Blur frontman attempted to lead a ‘Girls & Boys’ singalong on multiple occasions
Courtney Love on Lana, Beyoncé, Madonna… and why Taylor Swift doesn’t matter
She’s never held back, and Courtney Love isn’t about to start now. With a new BBC radio series hitting the airwaves, the rock legend and honorary Londoner tells Dylan Jones that while she champions women in music, she’ll sure as hell never be a Swiftie
Nature officially becomes a musician, earning royalties for environmental causes
Artists who add natural sounds to their songs can now split the royalties with environmental causes.
Taylor Swift fans are convinced she takes aim at ex-boyfriend Matty Healy in new album
Fans of Taylor Swift are convinced the singer has taken aim at Matt Healy in her new album.
Jack Antonoff hits out at Kanye West again: “Your diaper is so full”
Jack Antonoff has once again hit out at Kanye West, saying that the rapper’s “diaper needs to be changed”.
Noughties chart-toppers perform at rave for babies 23 years after number 1 hit
A bit of a different crowd…
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