Band Photo: Motorhead (?)
From: London, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active
Lemmy spent the sixties in a number of small-time bands including Opal Butterfly, Sam Gopal, and The Rockin' Vickers as well as working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix in 1967 for about six months, and as a roadie for The Nice. In 1971 he joined archetypal space rock UK Underground outfit Hawkwind who were centred around the very in Ladbroke Grove. His distinctive style of bass playing, involving the use of chords rather than the single notes preferred by most players, was a fundamental part of the Hawkwind sound during his tenure. He also provided lead vocals on a number of songs including the band's biggest UK chart single, Silver Machine, which reached No.3 in 1972.
By 1975 Lemmy's forceful personality and propensity for ingesting copious quantities of amphetamines were leading to conflict with other members, and this culminated with his sacking after being arrested for drug possession while on tour with the band in Canada. Lemmy went on to form a new band with guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. Wallis's former bands included the Pink Fairies, Steve Took's Shagrat and UFO. Lemmy's connection with Took (formerly of T Rex) was not limited to Wallis, as they were personal friends and Took was the step-father to Lemmy's son Paul. This new band was originally called Bastard. However, after the band's manager pointed out this name would lose them TV and radio exposure, it was changed to Motörhead - the last song Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind.
After a short period both Wallis and Fox were replaced with guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, and with this line-up the band began to achieve success. The uncompromisingly intense nature of their sound appealed to both Lemmy's original metal/rock constituency as well as the new punk fans — intrigued, perhaps, by Lemmy's brief stint in The Damned — and Lemmy's guttural vocals were unique in the world of rock at that time. The band's success peaked between 1980 and 1981 with a number of UK chart hits, including the classic single Ace of Spades (still a crowd favourite today) and the No. 1 Live Album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith . Motörhead have since gone on to become one of the most influential bands on the heavy metal scene and, although Lemmy is the only constant in a changing line-up, are still performing and releasing records to this day. Despite Motorhead's many member changes over their 30 year history the current lineup of Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee has remained constant since 1995.
Lemmy has also worked with a number of other musicians over his career, and occasionally guests with Hawkwind. He was brought in as a songwriter for Ozzy Osbourne's 1991 No More Tears album, providing lyrics for the tracks "Hellraiser," (which Motorhead later released) "Desire," "I Don't Want To Change The World," and the massive hit "Mama I'm Coming Home." Lemmy has noted in several magazine and television interviews that he made more money from the royalties of that one song than he had in his entire time with Motorhead.
He has made a number of appearances in film and television, including the 1990 science fiction film Hardware and the 1987 comedy Eat the Rich, for which Motörhead also recorded the soundtracks. In the 1994 comedy Airheads (in which he is credited as "Lemmy von Motorhead"), he shouts (truthfully) about being the editor of his high school newspaper. He has also appeared in several movies from the Troma studio. Having a predilection for self-deprecating parody, he once appeared in an advertisement for Kit Kat chocolate bars, miming a piece of chamber music on the violin, in an upper-class tea-room. Motörhead performed the entrance theme song "The Game" for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s Triple H, as well as "Line in the Sand" for his now defunct wrestling stable, Evolution. In 2006, they once again provided theme music for the WWE as they recorded the song King of Kings for Triple H on the Wreckless Intent CD.
Lemmy collects Nazi memorabilia, and has an Iron Cross encrusted on his bass, which has led to accusations of right-wing extremist tendencies; however, Lemmy considers himself to be an anarchist. According to Keith Emerson as written in his autobiography, two of Lemmy's Hitlerjugend knives were gifted to Keith Emerson himself during Lemmy's time spent as a roadie for The Nice. Emerson used these knives many times as "keyholders" during his famous wrestling sessions with the Hammond Organ during the shows with The Nice and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
He published his autobiography, White Line Fever in November 2002.
Latest Motorhead News
Below is our complete Motorhead news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
ABC Bottle Company had a limited edition $99 bottle of single barrel whiskey released in honor of Motorhead front man Lemmy, who was known for his love of Jack Daniels. Lemmy passed away in late December, 2015.
The run of 288 bottles sold out immediately, with the page subsequently being taken down, but a snapshot of the website can still be found here, with the disclaimer at the bottom of the page indicating another run is set to released in the near future. ABC Bottle Company comments:
"Motörhead’s hand selected batch of Jack Daniels Single Barrel Select whiskey celebrates 40 years of the loudest rock band on this planet.
"Once a privileged reserve only for the Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller – exploring the nuances of whiskey from a single barrel. Today, connoisseurs around the world can savor this experience on their own.
"We have selected one that is dark, oaky, but still some corn and sweetness with that signature Jack smooth charcoal smoky finish. Raise a glass and celebrate with Motörhead and their ol’ friend Jack." More...
Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth just posted this lengthy message online about the recent deaths of David Bowie and Lemmy from Motorhead:
"At the time of hearing the news of Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister’s passing on the early morning of the 28th of December I felt a familiar feeling deep inside. That of losing someone really close. Someone who’s been present in your life for its whole duration.
"It’s a very strange feeling that you can be so attached to someone you don’t even know, and I didn’t know Lemmy at all. I’ve met him on a couple of occasions. I remember calling him 'Ian' as I’d had a few beers and wanted to come off as someone that possessed a little bit of a deeper knowledge of him than the aggressive selfie-hunters. Obviously I failed miserably and I don’t think he liked me very much, and he didn’t want to be called 'Ian' at all. He’s 'Lemmy' and that’s that.
"So on the subsequent meetings I resorted to a respectful nod and perhaps a feeble sounding 'Hi!.' I saw/shared a bill with Motörhead many times, and I’m very happy I managed to catch their final headlining show here in Stockholm on December 4th. The place was packed. At a legendary venue for metal in my hometown. Hovet. There’s a special feeling in the air. As usual it was a celebration of heavy music as well as that of Motörhead, Saxon and Girlschool who were on tour together. But I also think a lot of people at the event knew that it’s possibly the last time they’d be able to see Motörhead. At least on a headlining tour. It was quite magical I have to say. There’s a profound feeling of respect in the air throughout the evening. I can’t recall any previous show I’ve ever been to that had that same vibe, or even similar. More...
The lowest of the low for heavy metal in 2015 occurred at the tail end of the year when iconic Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister passed away in late December.
Since then there have been a variety of tributes to the music legend, including a petition for a Lemmy statue to be placed at the Rainbow Bar & Grill.
Now a new petition is circulating that many Motorhead fans can likely get behind. Although Lemmy was known to switch to vodka later in life, he will always be remembered as a Jack Daniels man.
A change.org petition here is now calling for a Jack and Coke to henceforth and forever be known as a "Lemmy." The petition reads:
"A Jack Daniels and Coke will forever be associated with Ian Fraser 'Lemmy' Kilmister, the iconic founder of Motorhead. To celebrate and remember one of Rock and Roll's true legends, I petition everyone to henceforth and hereafter refer to the combination of Jack Daniels Whiskey and Coca-Cola as a 'Lemmy.' Let it be so."
Metal Allegiance just issued this announcement about playing a Motorhead tribute show in Los Angeles this weekend:
"We are making our return to Los Angeles with an extra special, intimate performance at the Whisky a Go Go on Saturday, January 9th!
"In conjunction with the Rainbow Bar and Grill Lemmy Kilmister Motörhead memorial service, Metal Allegiance will pull out several Motörhead songs in honor of the legend. During the tribute, the band will have the honor of jamming with special guests Corey Taylor (Slipknot), John Tempesta (The Cult), Michael Tempesta and Dave Lombardo for an unforgettable night of music!
"We are paying homage the only way we know how, by playing music. Don’t miss your chance to watch David Ellefson, Mark Osegueda, Phil Demmel, Mike Portnoy, Troy Sanders, Alex Skolnick and Mark Menghi do what they do best – play some heavy metal music! Stay tuned – you never know who MA will enlist on the other West Coast stops!" More...
Katon W. De Pena from Hirax has launched an online petition seeking support to build a statue of Lemmy Kilmister to be placed at the the Rainbow Bar & Grill in California.
As of this writing, the Change.org petition - available here - has just under 3,600 signatures. The petition reads:
"People around the world would like to have a statue to pay respects for this rock n roll legend. He frequented this well known restaurant and would serve as a memorial. We the undersigned are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to act now."
The legendary Motorhead frontman passed away at the end of December at the age of 70. You can read our tribute to the iconic singer here, and footage from his last show ever is also online at this location.
Three days ago, the musical world was devastated when one its greatest icons was taken after a short bout with cancer. Ian Fraser Kilmister, or as we all knew and loved him as, Lemmy, the lead singer and bassist of Motorhead, passed away on this day, a mere four days after celebrating his seventieth birthday in style, and only two days following his diagnosis. Though in the past two years or so, the man who was a specimen of masculinity had lost a lot of weight and looked very frail, Lemmy fought, and rocked to the very end of his life, and the world expected no less. He was many things to all; A hero, an inspiration, a legend, but above all, he was the embodiment of rock and roll.
Motorhead and Lemmy were always special to me personally. At the age of twelve, I'd begun moving away from the nu metal music I loved as I found the roots and legends of metal. After Black Sabbath, the next band I checked out was Motorhead. Having at the same time got into the punk sounds of the seventies, Motorhead were the ideal band. They were heavier than anyone else when they began, but also faster than many, if not all of their metal counterparts, earning them a place in the hearts of punk rockers too. I remember receiving their box set, "Stone Deaf Forever," reading Lemmy's excellent autobiography, "White Line Fever" throughout a family holiday and then, tickets to see the band at the legendary Hammersmith Apollo (formerly the Hammersmith Odeon.) This was my first concert and to this day, I feel proud that it was (my other choice was Def Leppard.) I went with two friends, Chris and Alex and we arrived early enough to queue up outside the doors, talk about what we were expecting, have a thirteen year old argument about something, then run over to the merch area before there was much of queue, all before heading into the performance area, which was sparsely populated for openers, Young Heart Attack but much busier for The Wildhearts. More...
The news of iconic Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister passing away last night hit the metal world like an atomic bomb, leaving many wondering if the band would attempt to continue on with a different vocalist.
For those concerned no one could fill Lemmy's shoes, you won't have to worry about a sub-par Motorhead experience. Drummer Mikkey Dee confirmed to Expressen.se in a phone interview that the group is disbanding. Excerpts from the story follow. More...
Read the full article at Expressen.se.
The god among men that was Lemmy may have left this life behind, but his legacy will remain in both Motorhead's recorded works and the memories of fans who saw some killer live shows.
Motorhead's final show took place on December 11th, 2015 in Berlin and a collection of fan-filmed clips have now come online chronicling the performance.
Check out a series of clips below (of varying quality) from this last-ever Lemmy show, courtesy of YouTube users Starfucker7777 and Mica 1234.
The music world was rocked last night when news hit of Lemmy's death a the age of 70.
Since then, there has been an outpouring of support for his band members and family, as well as many bands and fans sharing their favorite memories of the rock 'n roll icon. Below you can find a sampling of such stories shared by bands across the metal spectrum.
Saxon's Biff Byford: "I knew Lemmy for 36 years - if you were his friend you were his friend for life. He has dealt his last card; he was a defiant rebel to the end who loved his music and never compromised. My heart goes out to his family and friends. The Motörhead organisation are in mourning for their friend and mentor to the management and their fantastic crew. Let's remember Lemmy as he wanted to be: as an iconic song writer and lyricists and R&R rebel. I'm sure Phil and Micky are in shock this was their greatest tour, and I watched them play every night & they sounded great sad sad day. Wherever you are mate give em hell." More...
While we’re all still reeling from the news of Lemmy's death, the metal world is paying tribute to the legendary Motörhead bassist/singer.
Dozens of metal celebrities have been posting a few words and personal memories in his honor.
A few highlights from the flood of posts can be found below:
Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) December 29, 2015
Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists. We're forever grateful for all of your inspiration. RIP pic.twitter.com/WC1csn5F5x— Metallica (@Metallica) December 29, 2015
Today, heavy metal and rock and roll has lost one of it's greatest icons. Motorhead frontman Ian Fraser Kilmister, better known to the world as Lemmy, has passed away, just days after celebrating his seventieth birthday. A message from the official Motorhead Facebook page reads as follows:
"There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer. He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.
"We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.
"We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD.Have a drink or few.Share stories.
"Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.
"HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.
"Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister
Born to lose, lived to win." More...
Pro shot video highlights - directed and produced by Robert John and Greg Olliver - of Motörhead frontman Lemmy's 70th birthday party can be seen below. The event was held on December 13 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, CA.
Among others following musicians performed at the event:
Slash (Guns N' Roses)
Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses)
Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses)
Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses)
Robert Trujillo (Metallica)
Charlie Benante (Anthrax)
Scott Ian (Anthrax)
Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society)
Billy Duffy (The Cult)
Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)
Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe)
Bob Kulick (Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper)
Rob "Blasko" Nicholson (Ozzy Osbourne)
Paul Inder (Lemmy's son)
Check out also a 360 Video of the event after the jump: More...
Motörhead premieres a brand new official music video for "When The Sky Comes Looking For You", taken from the band's latest album "Bad Magic", released on August 28th 2015.
Check out now "When The Sky Comes Looking For You" below.
If you've watched the series "Frisky Business" on Netflix (or if you just have a healthy bedroom life with your significant other), you're probably familiar with the company Love Honey.
Now the one and only Motorhead has teamed up with Love Honey to release a line of vibrators - get your own right here. They're pretty affordable too: between $24.99 and $44.99, unlike the absurdly priced Rammstein dildo box set or Ghost's Papa Emeritus butt plug.
On a less sticky note.... Motorhead finally came back to the live stage after cancelling a bunch of shows! The band commented on last night's performance:
"St. Louis!!!! St.Louis St.Louis SAINT LOOOOUUUIIISSSS!!!!!! How LOVELY it was for Motörhead to kick every single one of your asses tonight eh?!" More...
Today the band issued this update about cancelling two more gigs with the intention to return to live stages down the line:
"Regrettably Motörhead have had to cancel their Dallas and Houston appearances. Saxon will still be playing in each city (please check local media for up-to-date venue information).
"Lemmy fully intends to resume touring duties as, and when, his doctors give him the all-clear. STAY TUNED FOR FURTHER UPDATES, and as always, THANK YOU for your support, understanding and good wishes."
Motorhead's new album "Bad Magic" saw release last month and is now available everywhere. More...
It seems like the era of Motorhead performing live with Lemmy may be coming to an end. There have been numerous tour cancellations over the past year, including a recently nixed Denver date.
During last night's show in Austin, Lemmy cut the set short after playing through three songs and left the stage, unable to complete the night's performance.
Footage from the gig can be seen below (the first clip shows where he ended the set, the previous two are from earlier songs). The band subsequently posted this message on Facebook:
"As you might have heard, Motörhead again had to abbreviate a performance due to Lemmy not feeling well. This is a DIRECT follow-on from the altitude issues in Colorado, and clearly, Lemmy tried to get back at it too quickly. For this reason, Motörhead will not play in San Antonio tonight, but the show will still go on with Saxon headlining. Lemmy will resume duties the moment he is PROPERLY rested and firing on all cylinders again. The legendary Motörheadbanger patience is much appreciated, and the band send their deepest thanks. More details will be released soon."
Over the past year a series of health issues with front man Lemmy has caused Motorhead to repeatedly cancel live shows, and it appears that has occurred again now that the group has nixed a Denver tour date. Motorhead comments:
"The Rocky Mountain High has affected Lemmy like the high altitude of Salt Lake City.
"It's been quite a while since Lemmy was this 'high' in the US, and thus having got a burst of altitude sickness (which made it hard for him to breathe and sing properly) he has very reluctantly decided not perform in Denver.
"Lemmy is really sorry and wants to thank the fans for their support and trust. He looks forward to the next-up Texas shows…at low elevations."
Motorhead is touring in support of newly released album "Bad Magic," with a music video off that release available below. More...
Motorhead has a new lyric video online for the song "Electricity" (listen in below), and the band also comments:
"We’re proud to announce the release of our first official single and lyric video to ‘Electricity.’ a track from our forthcoming album ‘Bad Magic’ (to be released on August 28th).
"So, crank up the stereo and make sure you (and your neighbours) get your dose of loud, new Motörhead today!
"If you have already pre-ordered 'Bad Magic,' you will automatically have access to the single, along with ‘Thunder & Lightning.’ If you haven’t already pre-ordered, you can grab your copy of the album right here." More...
Motörhead is streaming pro-shot live footage of the band's June 26 performance at the Glastonbury Festival in Glastonbury, England.
Check out "The Ace Of Spades" now below.
The final day of a festival always seems to be the most subdued and relaxed, most likely a result of tiredness, but with such a solid lineup to look forward to, who has time to take it easy? Graspop Metal Meeting still had plenty to offer the head bangers on this Sunday, with things getting off to a great start at the second main stage, where New Zealand hard rockers, Like A Storm got things underway. This was another case of checking out a band I had never heard of and they proved well worth a gamble, as their brand of hard rock with a tinge of alternative metal was the perfect way to wake up the sleepy unwashed and accentuate a few hang overs. Like The Dead Daisies two days before, Like A Storm are all about having a good time. It's rock the way it was designed to be, a lot of fun and high energy, though they put their own, native stamp on things by utilising the didgeridoo, which believe it or not, actually works really well with their music. The instrument was first used in a solo performance, before being brought out again for their song, "Love the Way You Hate Me," and there were other surprises in store too, most notably a cover of the Coolio hit, "Gangsta's Paradise." A great way to start the day.
A little bit of Pop Evil followed, which continued the theme of enjoyable hard rock, before the day's first trip to the Marquee came, this time to check out Winterfylleth. This was another band I was unfamiliar with, despite seeing the name in passing a number of times. I assumed from the name that they were a black metal group, but there's a lot more to them than that. They display an amazing musical talent which goes beyond the simple goal of making music just to be extreme, which some bands are guilty of, and don't conform to the uniform of corpse paint and spikes out of a mistaken sense of obligation, something else young black metal groups have done from time to time. Winterfylleth are another outfit that let the music do most of the talking, which is guaranteed to win over newcomers and please fans who turned up to see these metal Mancunians. More...