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.
Metal Allegiance just announced the release of a special EP, entitled "Fallen Heroes," on August 12th, 2016. The band united to pay homage to the 3 legends - Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, and Glenn Frey - who impacted not just their lives but the whole world as well.
"The end of 2015 and most of 2016 has been a brutal year with many of our heroes passing," comments Mark Menghi. "When Portnoy called me in January to alert me that Glenn Frey had passed, I literally broke down. That night after having a few Tequila Sunrises in Glenn's honor, a lightbulb went off... We're going to record a few tunes to honor our fallen heroes. I called back Mike that evening and asked him what he thought and the next day we were in the studio recording. By weeks end, all guitars, drums and bass were complete. I can't begin to explain the influence that Glenn Frey, Lemmy, and David Bowie had on me. Each of their music has helped me immensely during some real dark periods of my life and not to mention their influence on me as a musician and songwriter. Lemmy is God, Glenn is King and David is the Architect."
Alex Skolnick comments: "These brilliant artists have an extensive catalogue that is sometimes on the softer side (with the exception of Motorhead, of course). So when it came to The Eagles & Bowie, we specifically chose tunes of theirs that are riff-based and translatable to high energy arrangements. For Lemmy, we immediately crossed out 'Ace Of Spades' (great tune but the last thing the world needs is yet another cover version) and chose 'Iron Fist,' which we already had a good handle on from playing live and to us is every bit as much a signature Motorhead tune."
"I'm really excited to be a part of the 'Fallen Heroes' EP," comments Alissa White-Gluz. "I think we have all felt the weight of losing so many great musicians this year. I think these songs are a cool way to pay tribute to a few people who contributed so much to the world of music and showcase a different side of ourselves." More...
Motorhead's recently announced live set "Clean Your Clock" - featuring one of the band's final performances together at the Zenith in Munich, Germany - will hit stores on Friday, June 10th via UDR Music.
You can pre-order the set here and today, you can watch a brand new live concert recording of "Overkill" from "Clean Your Clock" below.
There will be no more Motorhead tours because Lemmy is no longer here, and many, many people did not get a chance to hear the band one more time on what proved to be the last-ever piece of road work. This makes "Clean Your Clock" a vitally important release: it is both a celebration and an epitaph, glorious yet not without melancholy, maintaining the warmth and curve of Motörhead's unique live sound. More...
Motörhead has posted live footage performing "When The Sky Comes Looking For You", taken from from the band's upcoming live Blu-Ray/DVD release "Clean Your Clock".
The DVD features two shows Motörhead played at the Zenith in Munich, Germany, which were the last properly filmed live performances of the band prior to the passing of frontman/bassist Lemmy Kilmister. UDR have the set scheduled for a June 10th release.
Check out now "When The Sky Comes Looking For You" below.
Hungarian groove metal act Ektomorf released a new track "Brotherhood of Man" in tribute to Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister, who passed away just days after Christmas 2015. The song, which can be heard streaming in the player below, is also available as a free download at this location.
Check it out here:
Iconic rockers Scorpions will hit the road in May for twelve North American headlining dates with Mikkey Dee, formerly of Motörhead sitting in on drums for James Kottak. Kottak is currently on break while he seeks medical attention. Swedish-born Mikkey Dee joined Motörhead in 1992 and is well-respected among the rock and metal community.
Scorpions singer Klaus Meine states “we would like to continue our 'Return to Forever' tour with James, but we have to realize that his health is priority. We wish James a speedy recovery and he will be back to Rock you later in the fall! We look forward to seeing all our fans this month."
The band’s first release via the Century Mediawill be The Tour Edition of "Return To Forever," which comes opulently stacked with two brand-new live DVDs and is bound to make fans’ hearts leap for joy. The live DVDs are even more expansive, offering generous bonus material. Look for it everywhere now and direct purchase links are now live and listed below.
Scorpions kick off the 2016 U.S. leg with twelve dates in May beginning at Carolina Rebellion in Charlotte, NC on May 6th and include a Las Vegas residency. Full routing below.
SCORPIONS – U.S. 2016 Dates:
May 6 Charlotte, NC (Carolina Rebellion)
May 9 Nashville, TN (Grand Ole Opry)
May 10 St. Louis, MO (The Fabulous Fox)
May 13 Las Vegas, NV (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
May 14 Las Vegas, NV (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
May 18 Las Vegas, NV (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
May 20 Las Vegas, NV (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
May 21 Las Vegas, NV (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
May 24 El Paso, TX (Don Haskins Arena)
May 25 Albuquerque, NM (Isleta Amphitheater)
May 28 Pryor, OK (Rocklahoma)
May 29 San Antonio, TX (River City Rockfest)
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...