Motörhead’s Bomber made its final flight late on Thursday night/early on Friday morning, depending on which time zone you were in. Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee appeared onstage together to pay tribute to their fallen comrade and leader on Wacken’s Main Stage as a glorious tribute to Lemmy took place at the world’s biggest Metal Festival.
But the Bomber’s last ever mission was not the only surprise in store for thousands of Motörheadbangers on this summer evening in Germany, the same country where Motörhead played their final gig on December 11th last year.
Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band were billed to play a fifty minute set in between Saxon and Iron Maiden but the Welsh Wizard led his troops onto the battlefield under a different banner as around an hour before showtime it was announced on their Facebook page that they had changed their name to Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons.
Lemmy originally wanted to call his then new post-Hawkwind outfit Bastard but manager at the time, Doug Smith, advised against it as he thought the band would “never get on Top of The Pops with that name”.
Iron Maiden’s storming set ended at midnight and at just before 1.00am Friday morning German time (just before midnight UK time), shortly after Therapy? had finished their gig in the Bullhead Tent, the unmistakeable sound of the greatest rock n’ roll band ever to grace this planet was heard.
Tears flowed across Wacken as Lemmy appeared on the gargantuan screens and when he spoke, it was too much for some adoring fans.
And he spoke, with his voice: “Don’t forget us. We are Motörhead. And we play rock n’ fucking roll.”
And those words not only boomed out across Germany but across the globe, and beyond. Forget Motörhead? That would be like forgetting to breathe.
And then the Bomber, bathed in blue light and set against a giant Motörhead backdrop, flew for the very final time, although it was not known that this was it until Mikkey addressed the Wacken crowd.
Struggling to keep his emotions in check, the “greatest drummer in the world”, as Lemmy would often rightly introduce him, announced that the famous old lighting rig had screamed a thousand miles for the last time.
“We want to talk to you a little bit here. Do you guys realise that this was the last time you see the Bomber flying. I know. It’s so sad. But to tell you the truth… let’s celebrate Lemmy and let’s celebrate Motörhead… as good as we can… and keep the memory going,” said Mikkey as 85,000 attendees shouted their allegiance.
Here’s fan filmed footage from the live arte.de stream of Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey saluting the Bomber on its very final flight. It will bring you to your knees…