Sunday, October 15, 2006

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

I've been getting quite an education recently when it comes to music from the past. A friend of mine, has a major love and respect for Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister and anything to do with Motorhead.

My friend is a musician. He's a bass player. He's been gigging for almost 28 years of his life. He's no longer gigging full time or touring and considering he's now 50 (apologies to Stones fans lol) he's thinking it could be time to retire from the rock scene.

From very early on in his career and prior to it, he has had a love for just about anything that Motorhead have come out with. Not so much the later stuff, but when the band were in their original state. In my opinion, they're to be admired purely for managing to make so much noise for just three people lol.

Motorhead being unpretentious rock with no bells and whistles, was spot on for him. In his younger days he studied them...and as his music career unfolded he imitated some of what he saw (smashing guitars and pushing over drumkits not included lol). He copied the way Lemmy stood at the microphone...mic up, head back while he sang...he copied the way Lemmy played the bass, removing his fingers off the boards completely, instead of dragging them up and down his beloved Rickenbacker.

Saying that, over the course of time, he eventually found his own niche and style, but still, possibly out of habit or comfort (he's 6'4"), holds his head the same way and plays the bass in a similar fashion.

Several years ago one of his friend's sons, started learning to play the bass. He was 13 years old. Occasionally, when my friend had time, he would give this young teen lessons and various tips. Being one to always encourage youngsters to find their music within, he was thrilled to be able to help out.

The young teen continued through the years, mimicking my friend in various ways...he's played at several school concerts and has a love of the bass far beyond that of my friend. He holds that instrument any time he can...practising and playing it as much as possible. He's now 18...and by all accounts he's pretty damn good.

A few months ago he got to play in his first official gig...my friend sitting in the wings watching as the young man filled his usual spot. To say he felt like bursting with pride would've been an understatement. The young man would continually look over at his mentor to make sure he was doing ok.

It seems to me, that this young man views my friend as his Lemmy, in his own way. He tried to imitate him as much as possible and I daresay he'll continue to do so, until he finds his own special groove to settle into.

Is there someone in your life now or in the past, that you replicate? Have you followed in the footsteps of another person because you admire and aspire to be like them, putting your own special spin on your technique or whatever? It can be anyone, family, friend, whoever...in any field, work or play.

Do you have a "Lemmy"?
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