Monday Morning with Motörhead

Feb 27, 2012 by

 

I once had a friend tell me he didn’t like Rap because it didn’t come from the gut; it came from the head.  He didn’t deny it had merit, he wasn’t one of those guys who thought hip hop didn’t count because they “didn’t play instruments”; he just knew what he liked, blues based rock and roll that came straight from the gut.  I could write 5000 words on the subject of “gut vs. head”, and you’d be hard pressed to convince me that P.E. doesn’t come from the gut, but that’s not what this is about, so I’ll spare you that dissection.

Motörhead has been rocking fan’s guts since 1975.  1975!  That’s over thirty-five years of full on, get the fuck out, Rock and Fucking Roll.  Lemmy is everything that people think Ozzy is, without all the drooling and incoherent rambling.  In preparation for writing this, I read probably 100 interviews with Kilmister, every one of them came off almost the same way –gracious, thoughtful, honest, with demented humor and a clear intelligent opinion on just about anything.

I could go through the albums, break down the songs, and give you all kinds of opinions about each, but this isn’t about me, it’s about Motörhead and the man behind the band.  So instead of reading my ramblings, I’ll let you read what Lenny has had to say –through his music, and his interviews.  Enjoy…

Why he started playing music

One of his classmates brought a guitar to school and was instantly surrounded by chicks.  Lemmy borrowed one from his mom; brought it to school the next day and found himself in the same position. “In those days just having a guitar was enough… that was it”.

Which leads to…

Sex

Lemmy is rumored to have had sex with, depending on the source, 1200 – 2000 women.  Since he tours between 200 and 300 dates a year, and has been for around 40 years, I’m guessing that number is actually low.  If there was ever proof of the power of guitar, this has got to be it.

“You know we ain’t too good lookin’, but we are satisfied”  

 

Motörhead is slang for speedfreak

Before Motörhead, Lemmy was in the Space Rock band Hawkwind.  He was busted at the Canadian border for what they thought was cocaine.  After a night or two in jail, the report came back that it was speed, not cocaine, so they had to let him go as they had arrested him under a “wrongful charge”.  He was summarily kicked out of the band for, in his words, “Doing the wrong kinds of drugs”.   Funny thing is during his tenure with Hawkwind, he spent a night wacked on speed writing the song “Motörhead”, which after his firing became the name of the one band no one could fire him from.

“Motörhead” is also the first, and possibly only, song ever written with the word “parallelogram”.

On doing speed for 40 years:

“It takes concentration and willingness to experiment. Each to his own, you know? What’s normal for me isn’t normal for everyone. You need to find your drug of choice and stick with that.”

Punk Rock

“Punk was great. It was what rock n roll needed at that point in time. I never had time for the Clash and their pretend politics but the Damned and the Ramones were great rock n roll bands. Motörhead fitted right in. We may have had long hair but the punks understood us.”

 

Hendrix

Lemmy was friends with drummer Noel Redding and used to stay with him, sleeping on his floor.  When they needed a roadie, Lemmy signed up, which led to every guitarists dream, watching Hendrix night after night.  And taking lots of acid.

“You could spot the guitar players in the place they were the ones cutting their fingers off! They were thinking, ‘fuck it, it’s not worth it!’ He was the best. He was the most innovative guitarist ever, Clapton was never near him. Hendrix was out there.”

On Beatles vs. Stones:

“The Beatles were from Liverpool. It’s a hard town. The Stones weren’t the hard men. They just dressed up. The Beatles were the hard men. Fucking Liverpool, man. The Stones are from the suburbs of London. Ringo was from the fucking Dingle, which is the worst area, next to Glasgow, that I’ve ever seen in my life. What they did in both those places—they couldn’t reform it, so they just knocked it down. They moved everybody out and razed it and built new housing projects. No way to make it civilized, you know what I mean? It was fucking lawless. The police wouldn’t go in there.”

Motörhead and the MC5

“The original Motörhead was a 5-piece band. I wanted to form the MC5 of Britain. They were such a great band, the MC5. I did that MC5 gig a few years back and they were fucking great man. They sound exactly the same! I sang ‘Sister Ann’ and ‘Back In the USA’ with them. It was fucking brilliant. I came out high as a kite. It was one of them shows”

The Music Scene

“Don’t be fooled into thinking the rock n roll scene is any worse or better than it was in 1966. There’s too many charts now in Rolling Stone. I mean what the fuck is ‘post modern’ that would be tomorrow wouldn’t it (laughs). It just doesn’t work. It’s crap and that’s what fucked it. We went straight in at number one with ‘Hammersmith’ we were against anybody we were against Barbara Streisland and everybody, there was just one chart and that’s it.  That’s much healthier than being number one in your own category. What the fuck does that mean! It takes all the prestige of it away.”

 

Touring

“If you don’t tour, then you are just some guys who get together in the studio now and again. You have to take it to the people and see if they return it to you.”

On Religion

“The only interesting thing about religion is how many people it’s slaughtered. Communism and Nazism are religions as well; make no mistake about it…”

Living in the US – is it semi fascist?

“Yeah. It is. The people don’t realize it ’cause they keep telling themselves that God wants them to be that way… and GOD is the fascist of them all. I am the POPE and you will obey. I just don’t care. America is like… a mess. It’s got nobody to fight now, the people can’t rise up against the enemy anymore, you see… because there isn’t one. I mean, Saddam Hussein, they had an enemy there for a minute, but they stopped like 50 miles short of Mayday.”

 

Will the US ever get universal health care and reform their schools?

“Oh, they will never do that.. There may be a revolution of sorts in America because the people are just sick of it. But then again… the people are so fucking spineless. You know the boss is the boss and that’s it. Yes sir. I am sure you know best sir. We know what’s best for you.”

 Food

“I just eat sandwiches. Cracked-wheat bread is the best bread in the world. My old guitarist Eddie Clark said I was the most inventive person he’d ever met with two slices of bread.”

“If I invite someone round though I don’t make them a fucking sandwich. I cook for women, but I don’t associate food with romance. I don’t cook while I’m making love – it’ll spit all over your naked body.”

“I used to peel babies and roll them in salt now and again.”

 Autobiography

To really read his own words, check out his autobiography, White Line Fever

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