Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Lemmy, you glorious bastard!

Early '77 and me and my mates are started to get exited
about the PUNK ROCK we were hearing about. We
made our first of many trips to Rough Trade records in 
Portobello market and I came away with 4 punk singles:
New Rose by the Damned, White Riot by The Clash,
Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones and Motorhead by - 
of course - Motorhead. 

The Motorhead single was everything that I wanted and indeed
had heard about punk. Fast, dirty, distorted, sneery and all with
a feral energy piled into a sound that was glorious. Then I was
told they were not punk.......huh? Fuck that, their first album 
became my blueprint for heavy. The only other albums I got
around that time that ever measured up were:
Never Mind The Bollocks, Raw Power and Inflammable Material.

Living in London put me in the very lucky position  of being able
to see Motorhead every time they played there. The Roundhouse
after the first album came out. The Overkill tour meant Hammersmith
Odeon, The Lyceum then down to Brighton at The Dome and a quick
Trip up the M1 the the Birmingham Odeon.

In the meantime, Lemmy was always in a pub halfway down
Portabello Road on a Sunday - cannot remember what it was
called now - Kings Head/Arms? - and as long as he was kept
supplied with Vodka and Cokes + as much money as he
wanted to put into the fruit machine, he would regale me and
my friend Andy with tales about Hawkwind, touring England
with the 'Head and generally shooting the shit with 2 fan boys.

He never knew our names but knew we were avid fans who
would turn up to his boozer quite a lot. He would always want to
see which records we had brought and seemed to know everyone
in the music scene. He was also fucking great to us - 3 times
he told us to turn up to venues early and he would get us in the
back doors. The last Overkill date and 2 dates on the Bomber
tour we turned up thinking that we were gonna be stiffed but
he - or a crew member would stick their head around the door,
tell us to shift some amps and get us in. He did not have to
do that but fuck me, what a glorious bastard, he did. After
the Bomber album came out, the organisation and world tours
we never got to really mingle with Lemmy again but who
cared - for 7/8 months we were hanging around the edges
of Lemmy and Co and no-one can ever take that away
from me. Although I wish that someone would take away
the time we went to The Lyceum 2 nights in a row
and in a drunken fit of headbanging climbed as close as
we could to the PA stack the bass went through and
stayed there all night. Lemmy killed my left ear .............
for ever!
Every year Motorhead would try to play a gig as close as
they could on Nov 5th - normally at Hammersmith Odeon.
With the Bomber tour, they had the massive fucking massive 
metal bomber lighting rig. There were some fireworks that
were attached to wires and I suppose would fly over the stage
but for some reason, they just stopped over Philthy's head
and exploded as he was playing Overkill. God fucking bless him,
even though his kit appeared to be burning, he still played on
laughing like a maniac. God bless you sir.


  1. Great stuff amigo!

    My interview, back in 2014, got cancelled minutes before the timeslot. Was told he needed his energy for the show that night. Motörhead in all its glory. But with a Lemmy that definitely looked fragile; a word I had thought never to use for the godfather. He did not look as invincible anymore. The days are dark over here and with Lemmy's rock 'n roll fire gone, it has gotten even darker and colder...

  2. The last time I saw him was shortly after the Paris show got cancelled and he suddenly looked very old and frail. I suspected the end was near and he even said himself still playing at 70 would be ridiculous.