Longtime MOTÖRHEAD manager Todd Singerman spoke to Decibel magazine about the band’s decision to cancel a European tour at the end of last year due to frontman Lemmy’s ongoing health problems. 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 tells Decibel. “I miss it. I gave up smoking, too. I gave up bread. It’s been a bit of a job, you know?”
“[Lemmy’s] been up and down,” says Singerman. “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 [the European tour], because Lemmy’s not ready,” Singerman explains. “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.”
MOTÖRHEAD’s European tour has been rescheduled for February, with a U.S. tour to follow in March.
To purchase a copy of Decibel’s February 2014 issue featuring Lemmy on the cover, go to this location.