Kilmister died on Dec. 28, 2015, just four days after his 70th birthday and not long after the completion of what proved to be Motorhead’s final tour as the vocalist/bassist battled a myriad of health issues amid his steadfast commitment to the stage.
“We played the last show the 11th of December [of 2015] in Berlin, and he passed just [two] weeks later. And that tells you, the guy died with his boots on. And both me and [guitarist] Phil [Campbell] were trying to talk him out of starting the second part of the European tour after Christmas. But there was no way in hell we could do that,” Dee told Green (transcription via Blabbermouth).
He continued, “And I said to Phil, ‘Look, instead of arguing with Lemmy or pushing him not to do this,’ because we said maybe we should break for a couple of months for him to catch his wind, basically. I said, ‘Let’s not push him anyway. Let him decide what he wants to do. He knows best what he wants to do.’ And he wanted to be onstage.”
The two elected to support Kilmister’s decision, though the next leg of the planned tour never materialized due to the frontman’s death.
After that Dec. 11 show, the band parted ways and returned to their respective homes, which meant traveling back to Sweden for Dee, who admitted he did not have an indication that this would be the last time he would ever see Kilmister.
Before they each went their own way — Dee to Sweden, Campbell to Wales and Kilmister to Los Angeles after a brief stopover in London to see some friends — there was a conversation about the upcoming tour leg and a potential change in the set list regarding which songs would be played off the band’s latest record, Bad Magic.
“I spoke to him right after the show. I went down to Lemmy’s dressing room, and I said, ‘All right. Go back to L.A. and figure out, maybe, another two songs from Bad Magic that you think that we should do. And we take out the two songs that we already played on this leg, and we put in two new songs from the record.’ And he said, ‘Yeah. All right. I’ll check that out.’ And I said, ‘Let’s hook up after Christmas.’ Because it was the 11th of December at that time, and I figured we’d talk between Christmas and New Year’s Eve and decide which two songs that we agreed on on playing on that next leg.”
Kilmister agreed to work out which songs would enter the set and Dee said, “And that was it. He had no intention of not coming back to Europe and touring. So we did a little finger hook, as we always did, and that was the last time I saw him, actually. Very sad.”
When pressed about how Kilmister handled ongoing health issues during his final years, Dee felt it was “maybe a little too late” regarding the moves he made to improve his health. It wasn’t too sore of a reflection, however, as the drummer noted that Kilmister’s uncompromising nature in all aspects of his life “made him what he was” and that was “why Motorhead was Motorhead, and still is Motorhead.”
Kilmister’s official cause of death was listed as prostate cancer along with cardiac arrhythmia and congestive heart failure. A brain scan had also previously revealed that the rocker had terminal brain and neck cancer as well.