Lemmy is a legend for sure!
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead is one of the last – true rock n’ roll outlaws. Below he comments on some historic musicians from The Beatles to Jimi Hendrix and even the Hells Angels!
He’d fuck anything that moved. I’ve never seen a snake for chicks like that guy. Chicks just went nuts for him. He’d just sort of look at them and smile, and go “Whatcha looking at?” It’d be crass on anyone else, but with him it just worked ‘cos he looked like sex incarnate. And there was a lotta sex about ‘cos they gave us acid and the contraceptive pill in the same year.
I met him in 1967 when I came down to London. The only person I knew down there used to work for The Merseybeats and The Who, and I asked him if I could kip on his floor. He shared his flat in Harrington Gardens with Noel Redding (Experience bassist), who told me they needed an extra gear-humper on the Hendrix tour, so I went along and ended up doing the tour for a tenner a week. I did radio shows with Hendrix, TV, the lot. He was a real gentleman, and quite quiet offstage. You hear all this stuff about him being a wildman, but nobody’s wild all the time – it takes it out of you. We’d just take handfuls of acid together all the time. And I only ever had good trips… except once. We were tripping, but I went home and all the guys were asleep in my room, so I sat wide-awake in the dark for five hours and listened to them all snoring. It doesn’t sound like much now, but the snores take physical form. You start imagining what a snore looks like, and believe me, it ain’t pretty.
I stalked them. That’s how I met George and John in Llandudno, North Wales. I was the Llandudno branch of the Beatles’ fan club. So the night before they were onstage at the Odeon, I sneaked into their hotel and met them in the corridor. I dunno what I expected but they didn’t know me at all, I was just some face. But they were really nice under the circumstances. This was 1964/65, the height of Beatlemania, and it was fucking crazy. You can’t imagine what that was like – the Daily Mirror had a full page, every single day, detailing everything the Beatles did, with four Beatle wigs on top of the page. John Lennon said you have to be bastards to get through the shit in the business and the Beatles were the biggest bastards of them all, but they were perfectly cool with me.
He asked me to teach him the bass. After three days of trying I had to tell him, “Sid, you can’t play bass.” He said, “Yeah I know,” all depressed. Two months later I bumped into him in The Speakeasy and he said, ”Hey Lem, guess what? I’m in The Pistols!” I said, “But you can’t play bass.” He just grinned and said, “Yeah, I know, but I’m IN THE PISTOLS!” Nice enough geezer – I got quite friendly with him – but he used to get into many fights. One night he even ended up getting glassed by Bruce Foxton from The Jam.
A really great guy, a good friend, and very funny. His last public appearance was onstage at Motorhead’s tenth birthday party in Hammersmith. He’d never played any of our songs, but you can see him manfully trying to look at our expressions, guess the chords we were about to hit, so he could play along. Me and our guitarist Eddie were standing next to him shouting “E! A!”. And typically, he was game and we had a great laugh. The sound mixer saw the chaos he was in and put his bass right up in the mix, just to embarrass him.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
One of the funniest guys I have ever met, period. I joined Frankie Goes To Hollywood onstage playing ‘Relax’ back in 1984, when they were really public enemy number one. Holly and Paul Rutherford were fucking hilarious together. We shared the same really ironic sense of humour and got on like a house on fire. There were two poor girls in bustiers in this room blowing everybody, absolutely everybody, that came in, in the hope that eventually they’d make it back into the suite where the bass player was supposed to be. You’d get a blowjob and they’d say, “By the way, if you see the bass player…” Except he’d already left. With his wife.
She’s got balls of steel. I met her in rather unexpected circumstances. Well, I never fucking expected it anyway. I went on as a guest at a Hawkwind reunion show the year before last. They have this centrepiece song of cosmic paranoia, ‘Master Of The Universe’. And this deep, God-like voice is supposed to boom out, “I AM… THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE!” and frighten the shit out of you. And when the moment comes, it turns out [guitarist/singer] Dave Brock has got Samantha Fox to do it. Jesus Christ! I said to her, “Don’t do it, for fuck’s sake, think of the fans who treasure the bloody thing.” But she just looked at me and said, “I’ve got to do it. It’s Dave Brock’s band and he invited me to. I can’t let him down now.” So this little voice is going, “Er, I am the mistress of the universe.” She looks like the mistress of someone, but possibly not the universe. She’s a great girl but talk about a casting error.
I’d always heard he was difficult, so I thought he’d be a pompous twat, but I was pleasantly surprised and got on very well with him. He was always shaving your eyebrows off if you fell asleep. He’s a really good laugh; just make sure you’re not lying asleep near him. He did the best vindictive-based trick I’ve ever seen. His tour manager pissed him off, so Ritchie slipped him a Mickey Finn. And this guy woke up, groggy with no clothes on, without personal items or papers of any kind, in the back of a locked hire car with no keys, on the deck of a ferry to Iceland. Is that fucking thorough or what?
The Hell’s Angels
I used to share a house with two of the Angels. They liked the band so we kind of got associated and they felt very protective. We had [guitarist] Brian Robertson with us from Thin Lizzy, a suave dresser. He always had this thing about being the guest artiste, so he tried to stand out with his clothes. We did a stadium gig at Hackney Speedway which the Angels had put on. So we were surrounded by these massive, tough Hell’s Angels, and Robbo comes out with these tight little green satin shorts and ballet shoes on. There was a lot of muttering, you could feel it was turning nasty. Someone said, “Who’s that cunt with the satin shorts on?” “That’s Motorhead’s new guitar player.” “Ah… Let’s kill him.” Robbo doesn’t know how he came close to dying for those shorts. I never met Sonny Barger, though. He was always in jail. He’s doing well now – not only is he still alive despite all sorts of cancer, but he’s an author of memoirs. Big climb in visibility. Big drop in credibility. Always the way.
The Comic Strip
I met Robbie Coltrane and that lot when I was in their film Eat The Rich, along with other people who did cameos – Bill Wyman, Paul and Linda McCartney, Nosher Powell and Koo Stark. We also did the title song. The film was about cannibalism at a smart restaurant and, despite having to get up at dawn and hang around all day, it was a laugh. There’s a scene where I’m riding a motorbike, but it’s not me ‘cos I was in the States, so they used a girl as a body double. A big girl.
This lot attracted all the fucking rejects. We were taking acid all the time, every day. It came to a head at the Canadian border. I got out of the bus to take some pictures and they went for a meal. And when I got back to the bus, they’d gone… which was charming. It was this real, “Ah, he’ll be alright, man” type hippy act that they always had. All my money was on the bus. So I hitchhiked all the way across from Michigan to Detroit with gay truck drivers, VW vans full of hippies, et cetera. Lotta drugs. I got there and the hotel was having this seminar and for some reason it was full of cripples. Everywhere were people in leg braces and wheelchairs. Surreal. I made it to the soundcheck and played the gig. Finished at two in the morning and at four, bang, I was fired. No explanation, nothing. Is that a bad day or what? There was no confrontation. I just came home to England and fucked a couple of their girlfriends.
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Ace of Sludge
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