The first time I saw Motorhead live was around 1985, but I’d already been listening to them for some time before that. Drinking at a dive bar in Calumet City at fourteen years old, where they let us blast metal on their PA, and we’d all sing along to Jailbait and Ace Of Spades while swilling cheap beer with the hobos, losers, and old men of the neighborhood. Or driving 30 minutes each way with my sister in all kinds of weather to rent VHS tapes of Motorhead from the long bulldozed Woodmar Records store. Or seeing Motorhead in concert on Halloween at the Aragon “Brawl-Room” in Chicago, The Cro-Mags opened, and the first three rows of the audience were bikers. It was intense and exciting! Over the years, I’ve probably seen Motorhead in concert a dozen times or more, they’re truly part of the soundtrack of my life, and I know that of many others.
Lemmy represented doing just what you want in life. To be be a rebel, to fight, to keep going. He was not just a musician for life, but metal for life! He’d been part of Hawkwind, then founded Motorhead, and his lyrics spoke about a world I understood, the world I lived in, the life of the low class, of petty criminals, of street justice, of dirty sex, and the struggle and the strife of life. That’s why the bikers loved him, that’s why the punks & skins loved him, that’s why metal heads loved him. He spoke for all of us!
On our very first road trip together in 1995, my husband Shane and I saw Motorhead perform at Foundation’s Forum. It was a heavy music industry event in Los Angeles, where in front of a crowd of just a few hundred people Lemmy gave a fellow he was displeased with a good hard kick with his fancy pointy toed boots, angry and hostile, while Shane and I fell in love!
Slightly more recently, Shane and I booked Motorhead to play a show for us, our Expo Of The Extreme Festival. Shane sent Lemmy a fax that said we would really love for them to play at our festival, and asked for his mailing address to send him a gift. Lemmy responded. This was 1999. Shane sent him some rare WWII memorabilia of which Lemmy was known to be an avid collector. Lemmy faxed back a few days later and said they were in!
Watching Lemmy and Motorhead perform at the Expo of the Extreme was like a childhood dream fulfilled! It was pretty close to a fantasy show with Motorhead headlining! Lemmy was very gracious and interested to meet us, well Shane anyway. He said he wanted to meet the twisted person who sent him the artifacts. He spent a few minutes talking with Shane and I, and even took a photo with me. He also invited us to watch them perform from the side of the stage, which was a true honor!
I remember a public access TV show in Chicago had a rat puppet that interviewed people, and they covered the Expo. Lemmy refused to talk to the puppet. He advised kids not talk to puppets because they weren’t real. Hear it starting at 21:24: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNMKuG021Bc
It is a sad day when our invincible Lemmy Kilmister meets his end, but it was certainly inevitable, as it is for us all! The Vikings believe the dead man lives on by his reputation and his tales, and based on his great works and his prolific career, Lemmy has reached immortality! Thank you to Lemmy, and all of the members of Motorhead, for making such iconic music, anthems for a broken world.
Lemmy Kilmister was truly a Great Man!
Not long ago, we watched a video of Motorhead, and the fellow wanted to know why they needed to be so loud while recording, to which Lemmy replied, “Cuz it’s me, cunt!”.