back to article Fans demand 'Lemmium' periodic table tribute

Inevitably, and agreeably, an online petition is demanding that one of the four heavy metal elements coming soon to an engorged periodic table near you be named "Lemmium", in honour of recently departed Motörhead frontman Ian Fraser Kilmister, aka Lemmy. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has …

  1. NanoMeter

    And what about

    Elvisium, Hendrixium and Winehouseium?

    1. Stoneshop

      Re: And what about


      Only if it's hypergolic with guitars.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: And what about

      Halfordium seems more appropriate. Though for that it will have to have a half-life at least until after midnight.

    3. x 7

      Re: And what about

      "and Winehouseium?"

      should that not read Whinehousium???? Her singing was as musical as my son's pet frog

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And what about

        I'll take her over Motorhead any day!

        1. x 7

          Re: And what about

          "I'll take her over Motorhead any day!"

          bloody necrophiliac.....

      2. Wilseus

        Re: And what about

        [Amy Winehouse's] singing was as musical as my son's pet frog

        I guess that's a matter of opinion, my dad and I both liked her but my mum, who is a music teacher, didn't find her to be to her taste.

        The production of her albums though, was absolutely appalling, they even manage to sound harsh and compressed on my crappy car system, with the engine running. Back to Black is genuinely the worst sounding CD I've ever come across.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Falanx

    Yes, we do know why.,,,

    The nickname came about from his inordinate ability to score loans off friends and never pay them back;

    "Lemmy 10 quid..."

    1. Richard Wharram

      Re: Yes, we do know why.,,,


      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: Yes, we do know why.,,,

        The myth I heard was Lemmy was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and always wanted to play bass...

        C'mon Jimi, Lemmy play bass!

      2. Stevie

        Re: Yes, we do know why (lemmee atenner)

        Myth as reported in the New Musical Express back when the name first became a thing with Hawkwind.

        Get off my lawn, wikilad.

    2. BongoJoe

      Re: Yes, we do know why.,,,

      I heard it was fivers.

      1. Stevie

        Re: I heard it was fivers.

        Indeed it was a fiver. The amount seemed trivial in the face of the imminent enmythment of the Lemmy Name Origin apocrypha by some zygote weaned on Wikipedia, which had enraged me beyond the capacity for rational editing. Ten quid was a week's living money in them days.

        Interesting coincidence, the NME coming up again. Just before Xmas while rooting in my garage I turned up a double page spread from NME that featured a Lowry cartoon lampooning Tommy (the movie). Big Lowry fan in them days, me. On the other side was a blow-by-blow report of the making of the Black Knight scene being filmed for the eagerly anticipated Monty Python and the Holy Grail fillum complete with a picture of the limbless kernigget in question. They also covered the filming of the "We're the Knights of The Round Table" musical number. It was reported as "chaos".

    3. Goldmember

      Re: Yes, we do know why.,,,

      I read on some site or other last week that it was 'lemmy a quid', as he'd developed an addiction to slot machines whilst still in school

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    Heavy Metal?

    Motorhead were pure rock and roll. Lemmy said so himself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Heavy Metal?

      Quite right

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Heavy Metal?

      To quote the great man himself "We're Motorhead and we play dirty f***ing rock and roll."

    3. Franco

      Re: Heavy Metal?

      Indeed he did, many times. His influence on Heavy Metal is without question, even if (in Lemmy's words) they all got the wrong end of the stick by focusing on the speed and volume.

      As much as I am a fan of Motorhead, this is not the correct way to honour Lemmy's passing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Heavy Metal?

        Lemmy liked to take the p1$$, so this is very much in his spirit. He claimed once that he got so bored of singing Ace of Spades for 2 years he sang 8 of Spades and no one noticed. (He might have been bored of the song but to the absolute limits of human endurance he gave the fans everything he could.) There will never be anyone like him again, forged from bits of Little Richard, Cochran et al when rock was born, educated shifting Hendrix's gear (...), riding the front wave of the punk explosion without being an actual punk and carrying on in that vain for 40+ years. We couldn't make another if we tried, so naming an element that even if we can create a few atoms of it it is gone in <1s seems appropriate to me.

    4. Killing Time

      Re: Heavy Metal?

      The term 'Heavy Metal' was reputedly coined by Sandy Pearlman to describe the style of music produced by Blue Oyster Cult in the 70's, quite different from the Motorhead output which just happened to come out at the start of the NWBHM.

      The reality is though that Motorhead are musically simple, extremely loud and original. As such they bridged and influenced sub genres and genders. Punks accepted Motorhead, later Thrash and Death Metal bands freely admit to the influence and Girlschool would not have had the exposure they achieved at the time without Lemmy's support. Society at that time wasn't as equal as it is now.

      Even though he sung that the girl had 'No Class' this is precisely what he did have, form is temporary class is permanent.

      So Long Lemmy, thanks for the great memories...

      1. Mark 85

        Re: Heavy Metal?

        That's interesting. The first I heard the term was in reference to Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, and couple of others of their ilk... very late 60's/very early 70's timeframe.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

          Re: Heavy Metal?

          The phrase "heavy metal" also made an early appearance in musical context in Steppenwolf's "Born to wild" in the line "Heavy metal thunder!" in 1968, so late 60s early 70s is about right

          Motörhead was fun whatever label you wish to put on it. I do not think Lemmy would mind being remembered as a heavy element that is born in a burst of energy, and disappears in a flash after a (too) short, (radio-)active life

          1. Killing Time

            Re: Heavy Metal?

            Look a little further than Wikipedia and you will find Pearlman was a journalist, manager / founder of BOC and manager of Black Sabbath along with being a prolific record producer. Not disputing Steppenwolf used it as a lyric but as a descriptor of a genre, the balance of debate favours Pearlman.

            I have been a rock fan from the early seventies and until the late seventies all references I recall were to hard or heavy rock. Perhaps this is why Lemmy rejected that Motorhead were a heavy metal band.

            I assert that the term is being applied retrospectively to the early bands and the likes of Led Zeppelin in the sixties, who for the record, in my opinion are not a heavy metal band. Their style is of the original description, a hard or heavy rock band.

            1. Mark 85

              Re: Heavy Metal?

              I wasn't looking at Wikiwhatever. I was looking at when I lived in Southern California back then. The term "heavy metal" back then referred more to the names and their on stage presence than to the type of music. I don't recall that term being used much outside of Southern Cal until much later. In musical style, yeah.. Motorhead wasn't heavy metal.

              1. x 7

                Re: Heavy Metal?

                Southern California?

                Considering the local heroes and reference points were the Beach Boys, I'm surprised you've not tagged Dolly Parton and Cher as playing heavy metal

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Stoneshop


    "an astrological object (a star) has been named Lemmy to meet the IUPAC naming recommendations".


    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: -nomy/-logy

      And we were worried about the new more grown-up more professional Reg wouldn't be as funny

      1. Anonymous Custard

        Re: -nomy/-logy

        We commentards are there to steer it right, and seemingly now even to get recognised in articles too...

        1. Stoneshop

          Re: -nomy/-logy

          It's straight from the petition*, although El Reg should have added a [sic].

          * small French atom that's lost a few electrons.

    2. TitterYeNot

      Re: -nomy/-logy

      "an astrological object (a star) has been named Lemmy to meet the IUPAC naming recommendations".

      To be fair though, it would be far cooler to say you were born under the sign of Lemmy rather than Libra or Pisces etc. It would make your daily Horoscope simpler too -

      "Tuesday 5th January: Sex & Drugs & Rock'n'Roll."

      "Wednesday 6th January: Sex & Drugs & Rock'n'Roll."

      "Thursday 7th January..."

      And as to the new elements 113, 115, 117, and 118, none of them is worthy of the name Lemmium unless capable of melting brains and causing involuntary bowel movements for anyone within a 50 foot radius...

      1. Jan 0 Silver badge

        Re: -nomy/-logy

        > ".. Sex & Drugs & Rock'n'Roll."

        Errm, leave out the drugs, this is the Lemmy who left Hawkwind, right?

        1. Andrew Denton 1

          Re: -nomy/-logy

          Lemmy didn't leave Hawkwind - he was fired for doing to many drugs and drinking too much. An achievement in itself.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: -nomy/-logy

      Also, AFAIK, you can't name stars (those having one are historical ones, still kept). And names of other objects (i.e. asteroids) are still subject to IAU rules. So if he bought a name from some of the scammers who sells you "stars", he's a double moron.

  5. SoloSK71

    If anything one of the new elements should be names Lehrerium

  6. Adze

    If this happens then it has to be metallic and harder than a bear with a flick knife.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      "How do you call a bear with a flick knife?"


  7. Roo

    On one hand, Bravo !

    Then on the other hand what next ?

    Highest bidder ?

    Failed Presidential Candidates ?

    How about the guys who actually built the kit that created & detected the atoms ?

    1. Unep Eurobats

      Re: On one hand, Bravo !

      "How about the guys who actually built the kit that created & detected the atoms?"

      Well, yes, quite right, it should be them. Then they can decide whether to line their pockets/support Tha Trumpster/whatever.

      I hope that being high-order boffins mundane concerns will be beneath them, and they might choose something witty and fitting in order to embiggen the general jollification.

    2. Midnight

      Re: On one hand, Bravo !

      Traditionally, the element is named after the person or team that discovered it.

      The element _is_ a heavy metal, and this _is_ Lemmy we're taking about, so I don't see the problem.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: On one hand, Bravo !

        Someone also needs to comment on the "live fast, die young" ethos which I think was embraced by the man and is certainly embraced by the element. Note that both for elements and men, that attitude doesn't guarantee an early demise. It just means they are rolling the dice more often.

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Thumb Up


    I like this idea. Presumably the element is poisonous to lawns.

    1. lawndart

      Re: Excellent


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Excellent

        Quoth the man himself about Motorhead: 'if we moved in next door, your lawn would die'

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: Excellent

      It's very, very radioactive. So yes, it's not good for lawns.

      1. Sven Coenye

        Re: Excellent

        Also meets the brain melting and bowel movement requirement then...

  9. marhor

    One's already taken

    I guess you all know that element 115 is already taken; its name is "Elerium". A secret military organisation discovered it a couple years ago and used it to our all benefit. Without it, we may never have repelled that alien invasion back then...

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: One's already taken

      The first or second one?

      Theres always a sequel.........

      except to Lemmy, a one off if ever there was one.

      <<saw Motorhead on the Ace of spades tour....... and has'nt been the same since

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: One's already taken

      IIRC, they actually used an isotope of Elerium. But then I'm still a bit woozy from all the EMP-blasts back then.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Surely in deference to Lemmy's lifestyle the next name chosen should be liverlessium.

  11. DJO Silver badge

    Elementary Elements

    If names after musicians is to be considered then Zappanium must be the first. Please not Lemmy: The only biker who never owned a bike!

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Elementary Elements

      Ho hum, I suppose the down voters never met the man.

      Rule one of Rock & Roll - Stage persona and real persona are NEVER the same, for example Johnny Rotten in the height of the Punk era was a really nice, self-effacing and polite chap.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: Elementary Elements

        Nope, downvoters just don't like Zappa. That's all.

        On a related note: when Rock'N'Rollers (and all other people making their living in the spotlight) start believing they really are like their stage person - thats the moment they get in trouble. Bit like politicians starting to believe their own bullshit.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Re: Elementary Elements

          "don't like Zappa"

          Does not compute. I understand each work but together they are nonsense.

          Incidentally I should have excluded Keith Moon from my statement about stage & private personae, as he was the exception to just about every rule going.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Best Way to Remember Lemmy

    Drinking till 8am is the best way to salute Lemmy (done that). To those who point out he said he wasn't Heavy Metal, just Rock n Roll - you are missing the point. It's a joke, like "Who would win in a fight between God and Lemmy? Trick question, Lemmy is God.". The other 'rock' names put forward also miss the point - this is a funny tribute to a man who didn't give a sh1t for fame/fortune/recognition, just lived life to the max. An interviewer asked him what happened to 'live fast, die young' and Lemmy replied, 'I tried, I really tired.'. For that always to 11, no bs attitude that defines freedom Lemmy deserves an element naming after him. He wouldn't have given a sh1t, but those who remember him will find it funny.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Best Way to Remember Lemmy

      I was in his presence once, after a gig they'd played. No real memories of what they played but my ears were ringing a bit by the end so it must have been good. (as defined by a then teenager)

      Seemed quite laid back about the whole rock and roll thing, the first thing he did post gig was to unwind a bit by throwing money into the one-armed bandits. And then sign things for the fans.

      I should have a look and see if his signature is still visible on the lining of my jacket.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: Best Way to Remember Lemmy

      An interviewer asked him what happened to 'live fast, die young' and Lemmy replied, 'I tried, I really tired

      Which is why naming an element with an extremely short half-life after him would be so apposite. The atoms are trying, really trying, but it's their half-life we measure and a few always get lucky.

      Until there's only one left. And then, none.

  13. Paul Mitchell

    As has been mentioned elswhere, only 113 and 115 are heavy metals. 117 is a halogen and 118 is a noble gas(?).

    1. John 104

      So.... 117 should be Halfordium then.

      To stick with the theme I'd go with:

      113: Tiptonian

      115: Downian

      1. Soruk

        The Halogens typically end in -ine, so Halfordine.

        The noble gases end in -on (unfortunately, also used by subatomic particles), so you could have Bogon, Turnmion or similar silliness.

        1. Nigel 11

          Hereandgon ?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given that John Bradbury

    the drummer of the Specials has recently passed on, I think we should haveTwotonium.

    Anything made or contaminated with it would be Twotonic.

    With a bit of luck, compounds and salts of Twotonium would be black and white.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Given that John Bradbury

      Bog off rudie, this is for the metalists

      (In jest, I love metal and ska but the mention of ska when I was indulging in reveries of the new wave of British heavy metal of my youth brought back childhood rivalries)

  15. Thecowking

    A brief song in Lemmy's memory

    Lemmy the element packed his junk and said goodbye to the circus...

    1. Colin Ritchie

      Re: A brief song in Lemmy's memory

      The Heavens just got louder.

  16. x 7

    Can one of the others be named Calvertium?

    The late Captain Bob is far more deserving of having something radioactive and unstable named after him.

    remember - Lemmy may have sung "Silver Machine", but Bob was the brains who wrote it

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about "Atuinum" after Terry Pratchett

    1. Anonymous Custard

      There's already a parallel petition on the same site to have one of the other elements named Octiron.

      1. Anonymous Custard

        Sorry Octarine - I will lern too tipe wun ov thees dayz...

  18. BongoJoe

    Ian Gillan, Black Sabbath and Motorhead

    Any collection of stories concerning Motorhead cannot be complete without this contribution from yet another great frontman, Ian Gillan.

    Black Sabbath and Motorhead were doing an open air show in Dublin. I watched the Motorhead show from start to finish, as usual, it felt as if I'd strapped a Boeing 747 to each ear.

    Later in the dressing room the guitar player said to Lemmy "Here, we never done our new single".

    Lemmy turns and says "I done it second".

    Filthy says "I done it fifth".

  19. Anonymous Custard


    Or if anyone wants an alternative for one of the other elements, there's a parallel petition to name 117 as Octarine (although they'll argue it'd need to be Octarinium, or Pratchettium probably).

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Octarine

      No, 117 is a halogen, and the names of all the lighter ones end with -ine.

  20. Dr Paul Taylor


    You mean Clive Kilmister, the (late) physicist?

  21. hbarr


    Perhaps one new element should be named Lehrerium, in honour of Tom Lehrer who actually wrote a song in 1959 called "The Elements", reciting the names of the first 102 members of the periodic table...

    (See Wikipedia for details and YouTube for a performance - recommended!).

  22. Nigel 11

    118. Lehreron. Yes, you might well describe the song as Lehrer on the periodic table.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We demand

    A Periodic Table of Musical Elements.

  24. TimeMaster T


    I've never heard of the guy till his death was reported on CNN, and while I think I >might< have heard of the band I can't be sure.

    First thing I thought when I saw the name was "why would they want to name an element after a bunch of small furry rodents who's only claim to fame was running off a cliff when chased by a helicopter?"

    If your going to name it after a singer how about "Mikunium" after Hatsune Miku? She is way cuter.

    mines the one with the spring onion in the pocket.

  25. Quortney Fortensplibe

    Born to Raise Eyebrows

    "...I've never heard of the guy till his death was reported on CNN, and while I think I >might< have heard of the band I can't be sure...."

    "...If your [sic] going to name it after a singer how about "Mikunium" after Hatsune Miku? She is way cuter... "

    You've never heard of Lemmy or Motorhead, and you masturbate over cartoon characters? Are you sure you didn't mean to post AC?

    1. TimeMaster T

      Re: Born to Raise Eyebrows

      drawing of a cute girl or a photo of an aging male rocker. I know my preference but hey, whatever gets your boat to port.

  26. AbeSapian

    Honor Terry Pratchett

    Name one of them Narrativium.

  27. x 7

    " Hatsune Miku? She is way cuter."

    You mean "it" is far cuter

    I find it hard to use the appellation "she" of a computer generated cartoon using a synthetic voice

    I certainly would not want to watch it "performing"

  28. mediabeing

    David Bowieum

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have to smile at the "demands"

    Until his death hit the media Id never even heard of the guy.

    Come to that, despite my status as a pensioner and still playing my Rolling Stones vinyl, I cant say I would recognise a track from Motorhead.

    Thats fame for you :-)

    1. x 7

      " I cant say I would recognise a track from Motorhead."

      if you heard one you'd know it was Motohead. ALL his tracks sound identical

  30. kekerusey

    Of Maybe Not

    There are thousands of better candidates to name an element after. Perhaps they could be named after the people who discover them instead of someone who, for all his success, basically drunk himself to death?

  31. vostro



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