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An Ode To Motorhead and Lemmy. Class.

December 17, 2009

Mes dames unt mein herres regard et ecoutes le fantastique Lemmy Kilminster in a great interview in er…c.1970, 80-something dealing most magnificently with a rather staid sounding journalist. (click link as embedding disabled!)


I have only ever seen Motorhead four times in my life – the first time was when I was 11 where my ears bled and I couldn’t hear anything at school for the next week which was quite the best thing ever. At the gig me and my brothers turned to our Dad and shouted ‘Daddeee, our ears really huuurt’ We were told to stop moaning and put our fingers in our ears which we did for most of the show with a few goes of daring each other to take our fingers out at which point we would all scream and laugh because it felt like you were being hit by an express train of noise. Brilliant. Also especially brilliant was running around at the aftershow helping ourselves to everything while the adults got trashed. I then became a punk and decided I couldn’t talk to or be seen with flare-wearing ‘heavy metallers’ – mainly pimplygeekboys with long dull mousy hair and cut off denim jackets with Journey and Motorhead patches sewn onto the back. Secretly I loved Ace of Spades which to me has always been more punk than metal but that’s another story.

The other three gigs were much later in life and most recently the other week at timewarp Hammersmith Odeon. I mean the Apollo of course although it hasn’t changed at all and is still the same old smelly, sticky, beery, dark Odeon. As I queued at the bar I could see a man and his no more than 10 or 11yr old son standing next to me. Thoughts of blimey I wonder what they are going to order? Two JD and Coke? ran through my mind. Surely not. Suddenly the Dad piped up:
“Two vanilla icecreams please”. I love that. A great mix of traditional theatre interval snack coupled with unbelievably loud and proper rock and roll. What more could an 11 year old want?

Next I went in search of the Ladies. I didn’t really need a wee – I just wanted to eavesdrop on possibly amusing fan talk. There was a woman queuing who was dressed in a big mega shiny polyester basque and was apparently following every UK show on the current tour. Staggering. She was moaning about how she had been in Southend earlier in the week, had to go up to Wolverhampton the next day and was really pissed off The Damned were on as support as it meant she might miss her last train home to Ipswich. Now that is a dedicated fan. Then she spent at least 12 mins trying to stop her ‘blimming flyaway hair’. Jesus christ woman – we are at a gig – a Motorhead gig – it’s dark, and sweaty, and loud – fuck the flyaway hair that would be long gone by the middle 8 of Bomber!


I missed Girlschool who were on before The Damned – mainly due to eavesdropping as above. I could hear the chugga chugga of their only hit I know which is the one they originally performed with Motorhead “Please Don’t Touch”. Top tune. Perhaps that is their only hit but I’m sure not. I did get very organised and make sure that I didn’t miss The Damned who were on great form. It is the only time I have heard Dave Vanian sing brilliantly. Really. He was incredible. Monty Oxymoron was leaping about like an excited demented Magnus Pyke from the underworld and La Sensible was tight tight tight. All in all quite neat neat neat despite the naff gimmick of the Captain being pretend-pulled off stage for trying to sing Happy Talk as an encore.


Next the atmosphere shifted and suddenly it felt like iron filings were filling the air with their heavy metallic tension. Lots of big boom boom on the bass drum and wheeling large hangings into place. Premature cheering. Flashing green lights – that sort of thing. Suddenly a big cheeeer-rraaargghhh roar.

I saw the top of Lemmy’s big stetson hat floating across the stage – at that point I had the tallest man with the fattest neck suddenly come and stand in front of me. Not great when you are 5’3″. He moved (after I shouted “for fuck’s sake” a little too loudly).

Lemmy’s wonderfully raspy opening salvo was exactly this: Hello.
We are Motorhead and we play Rock and Fucking Roll.

(Vintage Top of Pops with Filthy Phil Taylor chewing gurning-gum madly)

And so they fugging do – brillliant vibrant rock and roll. Bomber, Rock With Your Cock Out, Metropolis, No Class, (Teach You How To) Sing the Blues were big highlights. I don’t wholly get the whole proper metal thing really – Motorhead are more punk to me. I don’t get the devil’s hand point thing and I don’t get the slightly overlong drum solo’s impressive as they are. Leaping about yes – headbanging no – I just don’t get it. The diehard fans love it and Motorhead love them back which is great. But what I do get is the noise (and the louder the better), the proper bluesy rock’n’roll chords and arrangements and the life of the rock and roller all gloriously breathed in and out night after night after night by a 64 year old man in tight black jeans and big boots who sure knows how to live. Impressive. Fun. Perfect.

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  1. Momentary Madness permalink

    None of the band (Lemmy says) takes drugs. I don???t believe that for a minute; maybe not heroin.<br/>I???d have to take drugs to be at a concert;-) <br/>Lemmy mentioned getting no reviews of his music other than how loud, and scruffy, etcetera.<br/>However fine the musicians of Motorhead may be, my review would be: "repetitive and not much food for thought??? in the lyrics (though I could very well stand corrected, for I am not familiar with all their lyrics.<br/>I would go to a concert, and get into it as much as I could muster. I am not at all stuffy about music. I love music (???music is my sanctuary music is my blanket???) but my heart lies with the subtle sound that shape the lyrics into an arrow, and cracks open the heart. I like to feel emotionally stirred. Like watching a movie (A while ago somewhere I don???t know when I was watchin??? a movie with a friend I fell in love with the actress she was playin??? a part that I could understand???) that evokes a tear and or a smile, perhaps a union of some sort.<br/>I am a bit of a girly really; that is what many of my male friends say.<br/>I know you like the torn romantic – too rockmum ??? in search of his art/love/soul mate.<br/>I think Lemmy represents that to you more than the actual music.<br/>Forgive me if I am totally wrong. Sometimes I tend to over analyze.<br/>—————– <br/>We’re going to come up to the eyes of clarity<br/>And we’ll go down to the beads of guile<br/>There is danger and education<br/>In living out such a reckless life style<br/>I touched you on the central plains<br/>It was plane to train my twin<br/>It was just plane shadow to train shadow<br/>But to me it was skin to skin<br/>The spirit talks in spectrums<br/>He talks to mother earth to father sky<br/>Self indulgence to self denial<br/>Man to woman<br/>Scales to feathers<br/>You and I<br/>Eagles in the sky<br/>You and I<br/>Snakes in the grass<br/>You and I<br/>Crawl and fly<br/>You and I

  2. rockmother permalink

    Momodarling – the interview is very old and Lemmy used to by his own admission do speed like it was going out of fashion. I just liked the tone of it and the fact that it was Lemmy 25 yrs ago – a different angle on the all too usual cod media version of him. I liked it when he said "this IS middle class". A lot of it was all very tongue in cheek and I like his traditional rock influences – Chuck Berry etc.<br/><br/>My piece was more an atmospheric ‘ode’ as opposed to a ‘this is the best band ever’ and yes – you are right – it’s the attitude I love as I am deep down an anarchist at heart. I guess that’s what I recognise in Lemmy’s take on life. That’s also why The Stooges do it for me.<br/><br/>I like Neil Young, Tribe Called Quest, John Otway, Chic and Prokofiev too….etc etc etc 😉 And as far as ‘heavy metal’ goes – that was my point – I can’t identify with the headbanging and the pointy hand thing which is why Motorhead are the only band in that ‘genre’ so to speak I like. Manowar, Slipknot – they’re just big sweaty girls! xx

  3. Mondo permalink

    It’s a dream team isn’t it – and both bands are better than ever. Have you seen the Captain’s blog on myspace, he’s been loving the tour – there’s even a picture of him in front of Southend pier..<br/>The only punk band metalheads at our school liked were The Clash, perhaps that’s why I’ve never got them.<br/><br/>PS have you seen the Making of Ace of Spades DVD – it’s ace. Literally

  4. Fi Fi permalink

    Romo I loved reading this – you’ve never looked back since penning that Liberace review, but that’s another story…

  5. rockmother permalink

    Mr Mondo Bongo – Yes I follow El Captain’s blog on munterspace – I think they are having a really good time from the looks of it. No – haven’t seen Making Of Ace of Spades dvd – will seek it out. thanks for popping by x<br/><br/>Fifilicious – Ha! Thank you. I still have the Liberace review somewhere. It was the only A+ I got for English ever.

  6. Oh yeah, ja, merci, danke….from a frequent diner at the Mountain Grill.

  7. Colin Alzheimer permalink

    Wow Romo, that concert sounded like it would have been great fun! Oh… hang on a minute… I was there!

  8. Momentary Madness permalink

    Happy Christmas rockmother;-)

  9. Alan permalink

    Happy Christmas Darlin’.

  10. tony permalink

    Mum! Have A Groovy Christmas .Bestest From tony.

  11. Anonymous permalink

    hi dee, .Romo. . .belated Christmas blessings to you sweetheart, hubbie and your little one. My phne was a real bugger, the battery I think its on its way out. Wouldnt charge. . .all the best for the Newyear too. Tc. . .chazza xx

  12. Hope von Joel stylist permalink

    THe old lead guitarist lives on my road he is a legend!!!! Love motorhead!! 😉

  13. generic viagra permalink

    Yeah this guy it’s awesome, rock legends are the best in all places.

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