MOTÖRHEAD has been forced to cancel its previously announced European tour, originally rescheduled from last fall.
"It is with great regret that MOTÖRHEAD has to announce the cancellation of their European tour, scheduled to start February, 2014," reads a statement from the band.
"Many concerted, diligent and focused efforts were made by founding member, and international icon Lemmy Kilmister to deal with a range of health issues relating to diabetes. While there has been undoubted progress, Lemmy and the band were advised by doctors that it was still too soon to resume full touring activities, and so for the good of the future, the band and Lemmy reluctantly agreed to cancel.
"No one is hurting more over this than Lemmy, and he feels the aggravation and inconvenience of every ticket, and every method of transportation, already paid for by loyal fans in anticipation of the tour. Being a road warrior of over 50 dedicated, non-stop years, it is equally distressing for him to be unable to occupy the top lounge of the trusty tour bus (his spiritual home) but Lemmy recognizes that his long-term health must win. It goes without saying that Lemmy profusely apologises for inconveniences caused, but he does want everyone to know that he is continuing on the road to a full recovery, and that the prognosis long term is very good."
Since being diagnosed with diabetes in 2000, Lemmy's had to have a defibrillator installed in his heart, and more recently suffered from an "unspecified hematoma," which led to the cancellation of several European shows last summer. Factor in a daily intake of smokes, speed and Jack and Coke for the last 40-plus years, and it's a wonder he's alive at all. After decades of invincibility, the cracks are finally showing. Lemmy has had to make some difficult adjustments. "I had to give up the Jack and Coke because of the sugar," he told Decibel magazine. "I miss it. I gave up smoking, too. I gave up bread. It's been a bit of a job, you know?"
Longtime MOTÖRHEAD manager Todd Singerman told Decibel: "[Lemmy's] been up and down. He's got a really bad diabetic problem, and it changes on a daily basis. A lot of it is just fighting the bad habits, the things that he's not supposed to do anymore. He's stopped smoking, but he probably sneaks Jack and Coke here and there. He'd be lying to you if he said he stopped. He's been trying to substitute it with wine, and I'm sure he's slowed down on the speed. He thinks wine's better than Jack, but it's still got tons of sugar, you know? He doesn't grasp that he's just trading one demon for the other. That was the compromise with the doctors, by the way — trade the Jack for the wine. But he doesn't tell them he's drinking two fucking bottles, either. These are the battles we're up against. Keep in mind, he's been doing all this stuff on a daily basis since Hendrix. And it's coming to roost. It's sad for him, because he's gotten away with this stuff for all this time.
"I made them cancel [last fall's European tour], because Lemmy's not ready," Singerman explained. "He didn't wanna cancel. But what was gonna go down is what happened in Europe over the summer. See, he fucked up in Europe. He was supposed to rest for three months, and he refused. He ended up doing that show [Wacken Open Air in August], which he wasn't supposed to do, and it ended up being 105 degrees "Out there. He's playing direct in the fucking sun. The only thing I'm proud of him for is stopping when it didn't feel good. That was smart of him. The bottom line is that he needs to find a balance and then live that balance for a few months. But we can't find the balance yet. He has great days and then he fucks it up. And when you fuck up, you go backwards."
Lemmy, who turned 68 years old in December, told Classic Rock he didn't expect to still be here at 30,
"I don't do regrets," he said. "Regrets are pointless. It's too late for regrets. You've already done it, haven't you? You've lived your life. No point wishing you could change it.
"There are a couple of things I might have done differently, but nothing major; nothing that would have made that much of a difference.
"I'm pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I like to think I've brought a lot of joy to a lot of people all over the world. I'm true to myself and I'm straight with people."
Asked if his illness last year has made him more aware of his own mortality, Lemmy said: "Death is an inevitability, isn't it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don't worry about it. I'm ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn't complain. It's been good."