Ozzy Osbourne Remembers What Lemmy Was Like on the Morning He Died: ‘I Couldn’t Understand What He Was Talking About’

It’s been over six years since the world lost one of the greatest rock musicians of all time. However, Lemmy Kilmister’s tragic passing didn’t stop his impact, and Motörhead still gets hordes of new young fans. And we still happily remember all of his greatest moments, both as a musician and as a rock star.

In a recent interview, published in Classic Rock magazine’s 300th issue, Black Sabbath frontman and The Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne, revealed that he talked to Lemmy on the morning of December 28th, 2015, the day when he died. Reflecting on their friendship, Ozzy said:

“He was a good man, Lemmy was. All the guys from Motörhead have gone now, from the original band. It’s hard to lose anyone you love. I was talking to Lemmy on the morning that he died, but I couldn’t understand what he was talking about. I wanted to talk to someone else who was there, but they kept giving the phone to Lemmy.”

As Classic Rock reminds us, the two shared a very close bond, even collaborating on some of Ozzy’s songs. As Zakk Wylde remembered in a 2021 interview with Q104.3 New York, the friendship goes way back to the early Sabbath years. As he explained:

“Oz and Lemmy have known each other forever, since the early days of Sabbath and everything like that, when Lemmy was in Hawkwind [between 1971 and 1975] before Motörhead even started.”

“And Lemmy’s done shows with Oz even when Saint [Randy] Rhoads was in the band. When I started out, Oz was opening up for Motorhead when they were over in Europe, and then they’ve just been buddies forever.”

“When we were doing the ‘No More Tears’ album, even in rehearsals or whatever, Oz had a recording of it and Ozzy’s melody line on it, so this way Lemmy could hear the syllables of what the boss is singing.”

“You just go around to Lemmy and go, ‘I got some ideas for the song,’ or whatever, ‘here’s my melody line.’ He’s like, ‘Alright, give me about an hour, let me knock something out.'”

And then you’d go down to the Rainbow [Bar & Grill in L.A.], and finally, you’d be over there – his beloved Rainbow – and he’d just be doing writing lyrics, and here you go – done. Lemmy was awesome for sure.”

Lemmy helped write some of Ozzy’s greatest pieces, including “Mama I’m Coming Home.” “Hellraiser” is probably the most famous one and even Motörhead gave it a go back in 1992. You can check out both Ozzy’s and Lemmy’s versions below.

Hellraiser (30th Anniversary Edition - Official Animated Video)
Motörhead - Hellraiser

Photo: Wikimedia Commons


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.