Lemmy being Lemmy back in the day with a few of his close, personal friends.
In this brief clip from an interview Lemmy did in the late 90s on the short-lived British TV program, The Girlie Show (which you can see it its entirety, here), Lem got asked about the number of women he had slept with in his lifetime, to which the mighty Motörhead bassist replied “thousands” (though the man himself has usually put the number somewhere in the neighborhood of one thousand). I’m not going to get all hung up on numbers (I hate them), or even attempt to dispute either claim because despite the moles and his unconventional looks, Lemmy was one charming and intelligent son-of-a-bitch. Note to all you aspiring wannabe ass-wranglers—watch Lemmy and learn.
Lemmy on the set of the ‘The Girlie Show’ back in the late 90s.
Lemmy and Kelly Johnson of Girlschool.
Then one of the show’s hosts, Sarah Cawood, throws a curveball at the always affable Lemmy when she ambushes him with a visit from three of his ex-girlfriends including Girlschool guitarist Kelly Johnson (during the segment Cawood refers to her as the “love of Lemmy’s life”). Johnson and Girlschool collaborated with Lemmy back in 1980 calling themselves “Headgirl” and recorded a cover of “Please Don’t Touch” (originally recorded in 1959 by one of Lemmy’s favorite bands, UK group Johnny Kidd & the Pirates) as an A-side to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre EP. The B-side featured Girlschool’s cover of Motörhead’s 1979 track, “Bomber” and Motörhead’s recording of the Girlschool single “Emergency” from 1980.
Lemmy Kilmister latex mask with black “rocker” hair by Ireland-based company, Rubber Johnnies.
The masks featured in this post are made by an Ireland-based company called “Rubber Johnnies.” The first one I came across was the one of a rather surprised looking David Bowie as his glam-rock alter-ego Aladdin Sane (which you can see below) complete with Bowie’s distinctive eyes as well as some false eyelashes. Of course, after finding the Bowie mask, I was hoping that a quick look through Rubber Johnnies’ online store would produce more latex oddities (here is probably as good a place as any to inform you that “Rubber Johnny” is British slang for condoms)—and I wasn’t disappointed. They’ve got Obama, the Queen, a mean hillbilly mask and of course, Donald Trump (no Hillary mask, though).
Prince latex mask.
In addition to the slightly insane looking Aladdin Sane mask, there is also a mask in the image of Lemmy Kilmister (pictured at the top of this post) that is adorned with Lem’s ever-present moles and long black hair for that “realistic rocker effect.” But neither one of these fantastically strange creations can compare with Rubber Johnnies’ latex homage to the late, great king of all things purple, Prince (above). The face of the Prince mask (that has realistic looking black hair that I’d say is modeled after Prince’s 1996 “Emancipation” era do), is frozen in a smirky half-smile with a shot of come hither side-eye—a look that Prince perfected. In addition to the Lemmy, Bowie and Prince masks, there is also one of Michael Jackson where he looks like he’s wearing Marilyn Manson’s make-up (It’s very “The Child Catcher” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. See for yourself, below.)
The masks retail for about $30 - $40 bucks plus shipping and Rubber Johnnies also appears to do custom orders. More images follow. Happy nightmares!
The forever ‘surprised’ looking Aladdin Sane latex mask.
More, including that frightening Michael Jackson mask, after the jump…
One of the five commemorative stamps issued by the German postal service honoring the late Motörhead frontman, Lemmy Kilmister.
If you have friends or relatives in Germany, it’s time to call out a favor as the German postal service has just released a collection of stamps honoring the late Lemmy Kilmister.
There are a total of five different images of the iconic Motörhead leader in the book of ten stamps, that will be available for sale starting on May 17th through June 17th, 2016. Sales of the Lemmy stamps will be limited to only 7777 books (an homage to Lemmy’s “lucky seven”), and will run you about eleven bucks (US) over here. But again, you can only purchase them if you’re actually in Germany. So get going on locating your long-lost German Aunt or Uncle as I’m 100% sure these stamps will sell out swiftly.
A massive mural of Frank Zappa under a bridge in London by artists James Mayle and Leigh Drummond.
I recently came across images of some beautiful street murals of both the sadly recently departed Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie—which is what got me cooking up this post chock full of graffiti and street art homages to notable musicians and rock stars who are no longer with us.
Of the many public pieces, photographed at places all around the globe, I’m especially fond of the Lemmy/Bowie hybrid that popped up on a utility box in front of a restaurant in Denver, Colorado shortly after Bowie passed on January 10th, 2016, as well as a haunting image of Joe Strummer that was painted on the side of a rusted old van.
Lemmy/Bowie street art mashup in Denver, Colorado.
Joe Strummer mural painted on the side of a van by French artist, Jef Aerosol.
Inspired street art dedicated to everyone from Joy Division’s Ian Curtis to James Brown, after the jump…
The path to success can often have many false starts. For Ian Fraser Kilmister—the man, the myth, later known simply as Lemmy—his early success was a useful apprenticeship for his later career.
The first real clue as to what he would do with his life came when Lemmy saw the Beatles at the Cavern Club in 1963. They were thrilling, they were fab, and they were doing something Lemmy knew he would be good at too. But how the fuck do you get started? He’d left school, was working in dead end jobs and playing in bars with local bands for kicks. Seeing the Beatles made him focus on his music career.
After a few misfires, Lemmy joined The Rockin’ Vickers as guitarist in 1965. The group was originally called Reverend Black and The Rocking Vicars—known for their upbeat live act and clerical dog collar outfits. The band came to the attention of American record producer—known for his work with The Who and The Kinks—Shel Talmy and a record deal was signed.
A few singles and tours followed. By the time Lemmy joined, the band had shortened their name to the Rockin’ Vickers—as “Vicars” was thought by some to be “blasphemous.” The Vickers were (allegedly) the first band to play behind the Iron Curtain—Yugoslavia in 1965—and with Lemmy on guitar were hailed as “one of the hardest rocking live bands around.” Lemmy played guitar “with his back to the audience ‘windmilling’ power chords (like Pete Townshend)” but the sound, their sound—well their sound on disc—was just like many other beat combos of the day, which can be heard on their singles “It’s Alright” and—a cover of the Ray Davies’ song—“Dandy.”
‘It’s Alright’—The Rockin’ Vickers.
‘Dandy’—The Rockin’ Vickers.
Lemmy moved to Manchester, but covering songs and playing guitar was soon not enough for the nascent rocker. In 1967, he quit the band and moved to London where he shared a flat with Jimi Hendrix’s bass guitarist Noel Redding. Lemmy—still using the name Ian Willis—briefly worked as a roadie for Hendrix before joining tabla player Sam Gopal and his band (aka Sam Gopal’s Dream).
Sam Gopal’s Dream was a psychedelic rock band that had achieved some success on London’s underground scene in 1967. Following a line-up change in 1968, Gopal brought in Lemmy as lead singer, along with Phil Duke and Roger D’Elia—shortening the band’s name to just Sam Gopal.
‘Escalator’—Sam Gopal (written and sung by Lemmy).
Lemmy started writing songs and the band recorded them for the album Escalator. Released in 1969, it showcased Lemmy’s compositions and vocals.
To get an idea of the kind of psychedelic thing Lemmy and co. were into here he is lip syncing (badly) a number called “The Sky Is Burning” with Sam Gopal on a boat for French TV circa 1969.
It’s one of the more poignant entries on Setlist.fm I’ve ever read, by far. It’s a list of the songs played at last night’s Motörhead show at Emo’s in Austin, Texas, and it reads, as follows, in full:
1. Damage Case
2. Stay Clean
3. Metropolis (partial)
Note: Lemmy left stage at the start of the third song because he wasn’t feeling well.
Rock and roll fans the world over have been tracking the news about Motörhead’s beloved bassist and frontman Lemmy Kilmister, who is still touring at the age of 69 against the advice of doctors. (Lemmy turns 70 on Christmas Eve of this year.)
Just a couple of weeks ago, the news that Lemmy was switching from his beloved whisky to vodka for health reasons made the rounds. Some observers pointed out the contradiction inherent in Lemmy’s big quote from that story, “I am still indestructible.” Lemmy was treated for a hematoma in 2013, and he has also been fitted for a defibrillator.
This week Lemmy’s health issues are finally coming to a head in a serious way. On Thursday Lemmy similarly cut the show in Salt Lake City short because he was having difficulty breathing in the thin air of the high-altitude city. The next night’s show, in Denver, was cancelled altogether for the same reason.
Here’s a report from Eduardo Rivadavia at Ultimate Classic Rock:
We were in attendance at last night’s Austin show, and can report that the evening’s activities got under way normally enough, with a well-received set from Pennsylvania stoner rockers Crobot, and then a quite commanding one from New Wave of British Heavy Metal survivors Saxon.
Unfortunately, Lemmy seemed shaky from the start, as he ambled onto the stage looking noticeably gaunt and tried to sing the first number, “Damage Case,” clearly out of breath and at half speed. Meanwhile, guitarist Phil Campbell was doing everything he could to compensate by running about and engaging the audience much more than is his habit. Drummer Mikkey Dee also seemed to be trying to will Lemmy onward with his more measured but typically powerful attack.
Alas, the situation did not improve as Motorhead struggled to complete another Overkill standard, “Stay Clean.” After greeting his fans and admitting he was still under the weather, Lemmy lasted barely one minute into their next song, “Metropolis,” before dropping his arms, backing away from his microphone, and conceding defeat in obvious disgust, as his bandmates simultaneously ground to a feedback-screeching halt.
As for the crowd, many of whom were no doubt aware of the frontman’s recent health issues, they had nothing but supportive chants of “Lemmy! Lemmy! Lemmy!” — especially once Kilmister briefly returned to the microphone, leaning on his now familiar cane, and apologized yet again for his inability to carry on, leaving those assembled no choice but to turn away and start filing out.
Motörhead is touring to support its 22nd studio album, Bad Magic. The trek began on Aug. 19, in Riverside, Calif., and is slated to run until February. Their next scheduled show is tonight in San Antonio’s Aztec Theatre—the only information I was able to find out about that show comes from the well-known German tabloid BILD, which reported that the San Antonio show “fällt definitiv aus”—is definitely cancelled.
You can watch Lemmy’s heartbreaking announcement, as well as the loud support of the fans at the venue, right here:
Lemmy Kilmister of the legendary heavy metal band Motörhead recently announced that he’s abandoned his beloved whisky in favor of vodka. He’s been suffering lately from gastric distress and dehydration, and gigs have been cancelled as a result.
Instead of instead of his customary Jack Daniels and coke, Lemmy now quaffs vodka and orange juice to help keep his diabetes in check.
Personally, for me that would be too high a price to pay. But that’s just my opinion.
As usual, Lemmy’s quotes on the subject were pretty choice.
“I like orange juice better,” he told The Guardian. “So, Coca-Cola can fuck off.”
He also said, “Apparently I am still indestructible.” To which we all say, Amen!
Here’s Motörhead giving Toronto the business in 1982:
Lemmy Kilmister makes an (amusing) appearance in this British TV advert for the chocolate-covered, wafer-biscuit bar Kit Kat from 2001.
The ad features a selection of (I guess what you’d call) UK celebrities, such as former Manchester United player Roy Keane (known for being a bit of a hardman—he once deliberate broke another player’s leg) who is seen practicing his needlepoint; the late comic actor Mel Smith exercises; model/actress Kelly Brook rejects an outfit for being too revealing; some long haired fop asks to have his locks shorn; sexist comedian Bernard Manning manages to go against type by being nice; and the Daleks bring peace and love. You’ll see what Lemmy gets up to—it’s just shame he’s advertising a Nestlé product.
Not sure if it’s the sword, the “Daisy Dukes” cut-offs, the confused nationalist iconography or his absolutely manic, speedfreak smile, but the Motörhead frontman may have actually out-Lemmy-ed himself with this one. Yep, this is Lemmy at his Lemmyest.
In 1968, tabla player Sam Gopal started a band with Lemmy Kilmister (guitar/ vocals), Roger D’Elia (guitar) and Phil Duke on bass. Together they recorded the album Escalator, which is sitar-less raga-rock with typically vague mystical lyrics and a stoned vibe. On a psychedelic scale of purple to brown, I’d rate this one maroon.
Strange to see Lemmy this mellow. Though, as you see in the following quote, Lemmy was spending a lot of time on speed. I love the fact that he keeps referring to tablas as bongos.
That was in 1968. It was very rushed, obviously. But the speed was very good in those days. I sat up all night and wrote all the fucking songs. Eleven of them, I think.
Honestly, I have never been able to get into this record, and it’s entirely due to the drumming being bongos instead of a conventional drum set. I realize that Sam Gopal is the bongo player, so the whole project is based around him, and I’m totally missing the point. But I just want to hear some real drums behind these songs, damn it!
No one will ever mistake this dreary rain-drenched b&w clip for Yellow Submarine.