7/21/2007

Born to Kick Your Ass

Today seems like a good day to kick your ass with some Motörhead.

It would be much too difficult to jam Motörhead ’s 32-year history into a few paragraphs, so I’m going to touch on some early history, then get into today’s music. If you want to read more about the band, I’d suggest either their Web site, their Wiki entry, or Lemmy’s autobiography, “White Line Fever” (Simon & Schuster, 2002).

After being sacked from Hawkwind in 1975, supposedly for “doing the wrong drugs,” Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister decided to form a new band, originally to be called “Bastard.” Doug Smith, the band's manager, told him, “It's unlikely that we're going to get on Top of the Pops with a name like ‘Bastard’.”

Lemmy agreed and decided to call the band “Motörhead,” inspired by the final song he had written for Hawkwind. The name “Motörhead ” came from a slang term for an amphetamine user, the drug being the subject of the song.

Lemmy's stated aim was for the band to be “the dirtiest rock n' roll band in the world,” and said, “If Motörhead moved in next to you, your lawn would die.”

The first lineup of the band featured Larry Wallis (ex-Pink Fairies) on electric guitar and Lucas Fox on drums.

During early recording sessions Fox became unreliable and was replaced by drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Their record label was not pleased with the recorded material and shelved On Parole until 1979, after the band had established some success.

Deciding that two lead guitarists were required, the band recruited “Fast” Eddie Clarke, but Wallis quit during the auditions, so the idea was dropped. The trio of Lemmy, Clarke, and Taylor is today regarded as the “classic” Motörhead line-up.

After touring “Beyond the Threshold of Pain” for a couple of years, Motörhead released the classic Ace of Spades album in late 1980. BNR Metal called Ace of Spades, “One of the best metal albums by any band, ever, period.”

By 1982, Fast Eddie had made the decision to leave Motörhead after Lemmy and Plasmatics’ singer Wendy O. Williams covered Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man.” Clarke felt the song compromised the band's principles, refused to play on the recording and resigned. Two years later, Taylor would also leave, causing Lemmy to quip “Did I leave them or did they leave me?”

Taylor returned to Motörhead in 1987 and continued playing in the group until 1992. After having been warned three times in the previous two years “to get his act together,” he was fired after recording “I Ain't No Nice Guy,” because of his poor performance, according to “White Line Fever.”

The current Motörhead line-up consists of Lemmy, Phil Campbell, and Mikkey Dee.

Ace of Spades (live 1992).mp3
Recorded live in California in 1992. One of Phil's last shows.
Louie Louie.mp3
An early single. Sales of the single brought the band their first appearance on “Top of the Pops,” broadcast Oct. 25, 1978.
Overkill (live 2004).mp3
Recorded live in Braunschweig, Germany, Aug. 15, 2004.
Waltz of the Vampire.mp3
Early version of “Dance” from the Ace of Spades studio sessions
Alone Again.mp3 Lemmy and Doro
Doro Pesch sang for the German metal band Warlock. This song is from her 2000 solo album Calling the Wild. Also a chance to hear a rare mellow Lemmy vocal.
Motorhead.mp3 Hawkwind
From Warrior On The Edge Of Time (1975). A way different version than Motörhead’s.
Good Rockin’ Tonight.mp3 Lemmy and Johnny Ramone from the compilation Sex Pistols Aftermath
Tie Your Mother Down (Queen cover).mp3 Lemmy, Taime Down (Faster Pussycat), and Ted Nugent from the compilation This Is Metal's Most Covered Moments Of The '80s

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Check the Motörhead Blogger for current Motorhead news.

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2 Comments:

At 4:49 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

So is "White Line Fever" worth reading? Lemmy seems like a guy with a good sense of humor.

 
At 7:13 AM , Blogger Jimmy said...

Hi Aikin
Thanks for linking me there

To Jonderneathica - White Line Fever is indeed a very good read, and I am not just saying that as a Motorhead fan I have never been one to enjoy so-called autobiographies of 'stars' but WLF is an excellent narrative and comes across as though Lemmy himself was chatting to you. It has comedy and insight and it is a very easy read also.

Cheers
Jimmy

 

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