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.
Heavy metal fans will be banging their heads in delight this fall with the release of Rhinos's "Heavy Metal Box," due Oct. 2. The four-disc, 70-song set boasts classic tracks from Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead and Slayer, among dozens of others.
Arranged chronologically from 1968 to 1991, the compilation also boasts hits from bands like Deep Purple, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Butterfly, Pantera, Alice Cooper, Venom, Testament, Rush and Megadeth; the project will be packaged in a box resembling a Marshall guitar amp.
The liner notes will include extensive photos, track commentary and interviews with Ronnie James Dio and Lita Ford.
Here is the track list for "The Heavy Metal Box": More...
According to Undercover News, MOTÖRHEAD will return to Australia for a headline tour, playing all major cities with Oz-rock legends ROSE TATTOO in support. The tour dates are as follows:
Oct. 03 - Convention Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Oct. 05 - Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia
Oct. 06 - Enmore Theatre, Sydney, Australia
Oct. 07 - Entertainment Centre, Newcastle, Australia
Oct. 10 - The Forum, Melbourne, Australia
Oct. 11 - The Forum, Melbourne, Australia
Oct. 13 - Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide, Australia
Oct. 16 - Challenge Stadium, Perth, Australia
Oct. 20 - TSB Stadium, New Plymouth, New Zealand
MOTÖRHEAD has issued the following update:
"It is with extreme sadness to inform you that Kelly Johnson, original lead guitarist of GIRLSCHOOL, passed away on Sunday night, 15th July. She has been suffering from spinal cancer for the last six years.
"Joining GIRLSCHOOL in 1978, Kelly was a face in the classic line-up alongside Kim McAuliffe (rhythm guitar, vocals), Enid Williams (bass, vocals) and Denise Dufort (drums). The band was an integral and major force in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement, beginning with the release of its debut album, 'Demolition' (1980), and continuing with the follow-ups 'Hit 'n' Run' (1981) and 'Screaming Blue Murder' (1982). Kelly's participation also saw GIRLSCHOOL collaborating with MOTÖRHEAD under the name HEADGIRL for the 'St. Valentine's Day Massacre' EP. Both bands appeared on the lead track 'Please Don't Touch' and covered each other's songs, GIRLSCHOOL choosing 'Bomber' and MOTÖRHEAD picking 'Emergency'.
"Watch the 'Please Don't Touch' (MOTÖRHEAD and GIRLSCHOOL) video at YouTube.
"Kelly originally left GIRLSCHOOL in 1984 after recording the band's fourth album, 'Play Dirty', to live in Los Angeles for the next ten years. She rejoined in 1993 and moved back to the U.K. In 2000, she decided to quit the music business for good after recording her final album with GIRLSCHOOL, 'Not That Innocent: 21st Anniversary' (2001), though always remained a close friend to the band.
"Kelly Johnson (RIP) will be missed heavy-heartedly by all. Our deepest condolences go out to her family and friends." More...
"Better Motörhead than Dead: Live at Hammersmith", a double live CD recorded at MOTÖRHEAD's 30th-anniversary show on June 16, 2005 at London's Hammersmith Appollo/Odeon, is available for streaming in its entirety. Due on July 16 via SPV, the set will be released in digipak form and is available for pre-order from www.play.com.
Here is the "Better Motörhead than Dead: Live at Hammersmith" track listing: More...
MEGADETH's Dave Mustaine and MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy Kilmister were interviewed for the Spanish TV program "Caiga Quien Caiga" (CQC) during this year's Monsters Of Rock festival, which took place June 22-23, 2007 in Zaragoza, Spain. Watch the seven-minute report at YouTube (Note: Mustaine's interview begins around the 3:20 mark and Lemmy's around 5:20)
In addition to MEGADETH and MOTÖRHEAD, this year's Monsters Of Rock festival included performances by OZZY OSBOURNE, CHILDREN OF BODOM, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, SLAYER, DREAM THEATER and BLIND GUARDIAN, among others. More...
Some fan-filmed video footage of MOTÖRHEAD performing "Stay Clean" on June 23, 2007 at the Monsters Of Rock festival in Zaragoza, Spain has been posted on YouTube. More...
Don Kaye from Launch Radio Networks has posted this report:
Ozzy Osbourne has listed his five favorite Hard Rock bands for Spinner.com. The list includes LED ZEPPELIN, MOTÖRHEAD, NIRVANA, GREEN DAY and, of course, his own group, BLACK SABBATH.
Osbourne said about his Number One choice, LED ZEPPELIN, "I can remember walking through Birmingham with Geezer Butler, the bass player from SABBATH, and he knew (ZEP singer) Robert Plant. Plant was walking through the subway and I'd heard his voice. And Geezer says to him, 'What are you up to?' Plant says, 'Well, they asked me to join a band called the New Yardbirds (which became ZEPPELIN).' And that was it... The first two albums had such an impact on my voice, and on my life, similar to the BEATLES when I first heard them."
About BLACK SABBATH, Osbourne said, "One of the things with SABBATH: We had full control over what we were doing and how we wanted it laid out. People would come in the studio and give us a suggestion and we'd go, 'Would you f***ing get out of here right now?' We had full artistic control."
On NIRVANA: "Apparently, I met (late NIRVANA frontman Kurt Cobain), 'cause I was talking to Dave Grohl and he said, 'You probably don't remember this, but when you were in Devonshire Studios in the (San Fernando) Valley, me and Kurt were in the room where they had a pool table. When you walked in we were like, 'F***ing hell'.'"
Osbourne called GREEN DAY's "American Idiot" album "f***ing brilliant."
Osbourne's new album, "Black Rain", debuted at number three on the Billboard album chart last month. The CD's first single, "I Don't Wanna Stop", is currently Number One at Rock radio.
The singer will headline this summer's free Ozzfest, which begins on July 12 in Seattle.
Motorhead rock legend Lemmy is due to be immortalised in the form of a six-inch toy.
Featuring biker boots, skinny jeans, tattoos and his iconic facial lumps, it'll be just like the real rocker! But small.
Manufacturers Locoape reckon they'll have it on the shelves for November.
Just For Fun
British newspaper The Guardian has concluded its question of who the greatest living Englishman is and the result will make heavy metal fans very happy! Motorhead mainman Lemmy has been given the title. For more information read the following article...
"Let it be stated for the record: Lemmy, singer with Motörhead, is the nation's greatest living Englishman. Some say this accolade belongs to Tony Benn, but attending one of his appearances will cost you up to £35 a ticket and doesn't get you Ace of Spades played by a sexagenarian who sinks two packets of Marlboro Reds and two litres of Jack Daniels a day.
Next month, London sees the start of the South Bank Meltdown festival, the summer's annual pick'n'mix of musical culture. This year's curator is Jarvis Cocker, another national treasure. The band Cocker has chosen to launch Meltdown is Motörhead. I would like to think - no, I believe - there is nothing kitsch about this choice. It isn't the same as people who wear AC/DC shirts to the NME Awards. I feel that Jarvis Cocker understands that Motörhead epitomise rock'n'roll's core ideal, that "the only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud", and that they are a beacon for defiant celebration.
Lemmy may have hit many a duff note in the past 30 years, but not once has he told you a lie. I was 10 years old when I first heard this band; I was just a week older by the time I owned my first Motörhead record. A month after that I had an iron-on T-shirt. Five years later and I was knee deep in mud at Donington Park, flailing in terror as people fell under my feet, watching in amazement as a firework screamed its way toward Lemmy on the stage. I remember it now: he went ballistic. And then he played Ace of Spades.
Ace of Spades is, of course, the one song loved by everyone who has heard it. Its moral is so clear it could well be Moses on the mic, its timing so deft it might just be the greatest shimmy in rock'n'roll. "You know I'm going to lose, and gambling's for fools, but that's the way I like it baby, I don't want to live forever." In the original studio version Lemmy then warns you to not "forget the joker", but of late the song has been brought up to date. While power chords throb from his Rickenbacker bass and his mouth moves up to a microphone stationed higher than his head, the 61-year-old greatest living Englishman instead says "... but apparently I am."
And who wouldn't drink to that?"
MACHINE HEAD will support metal icons IRON MAIDEN, along with MOTÖRHEAD and MASTODON, at Rome's Olympic Stadium on June 20. The star-studded lineup is but one of many great MACHINE HEAD dates in Europe this summer, including the U.K.'s Download, Germany's Rock am Ring and Rock im Park, Sweden's prestigious Metaltown festival, Denmark's Roskilde, Holland's Fields of Rock and a number of headlining dates with support coming from the mighty KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, LAMB OF GOD, TYPE O NEGATIVE, MASTODON and CHIMAIRA.
For a list of upcoming MACHINE HEAD tour dates, click here.
ALICE COOPER will be touring The UK towards the end of 2007. Confirmed dates are as follows:
6 - Sheffield - Hallam Arena
7 - Glasgow - SECC
9 - Newcastle - Metro Arena
10 - Birmingham - NEC
11 - Notthingham - Arena
13 - Brighton - Centre
14 - Bournemouth - BIC
16 - Cardiff - Arena
17 - Wembley
18 - Manchester - MEN
MOTÖRHEAD and JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS are scheduled to open the above listed shows.
Fronted by HYPOCRISY mastermind Peter Tägtgren, the fifth Pain album "Psalms of Extinction" will feature Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee, Children Of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho, and Anders Iwers of In Flames who will be performing bass on a couple of tracks.
A video for the cut 'Zombie Slam' will be shot imminently.
Pain's Roadrunner debut, which is the artist's fifth album and the first signing to the Bonnier Amigo / Roadrunner A & R joint venture, will be released in April 2007.
SMOKIN’ Aces director Joe Carnahan claims to be heavily influenced by music, which is reflected in some of his casting for the action-thriller given that it boasts impressive acting debuts for Alicia Keys and Common, as well as The Tremor Brothers.
The film itself takes its cues from movies such as Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, as well as Tony Scott’s True Romance and Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and, as such, boasts a soundtrack that captures the mad energy and cool vibe attached to proceedings.
We’re talking music from the likes of Motorhead, with their seminal Ace Of Spades that’s featured to such excellent effect in the trailer, to Outkast’s typically stylish Spottieottiedopalicious.
The tracklisting is as follows:
1. The Prodigy – First Warning
2. Motorhead – Ace of Spades
3. The stooges – Down on the Street
4. Common feat. Bilal – Play Your Cards Right
5. Skull Snaps – Tresspassin
6. Nilton Castro – Segura O Sambura
7. Bernard Pretty Purdie – Touch Me Again
8. Joe Baton – Under The Street Lamp
9. Outkast – Spottieottiedopalicious
10. Genius/GZA Liquid Swords – I Gotcha Back
11. The Bees – I Love You
12. Ennio Morricone – Morte Di Un Soldat
13. John Cale – Big White Cloud
14. The Make Up – Save Yourself
15. Trivium – Like Light to the Flies
16. Clint Mansell – FBI
17. Clint Mansell – Shell Shock
Read the full article at Indie London.
A HEAVEN AND HELL / MOTÖRHEAD / DOWN tour will kick off in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 3 and play at least seven shows across Canada, including Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. An exclusive New York City date is also planned. Unconfirmed tour dates so far are as follows:
Mar. 03 - [To Be Announced] - Vancouver, BC
Mar. 22 - Air Canada Center - Toronto, ONT
Mar. 25 - Bell Centre - Montreal, QUE
Mar. 26 - Colisee - Quebec City, QUE
HEAVEN AND HELL — the new band featuring legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIO, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW) alongside original BLACK SABBATH members Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, plus drummer Vinny Appice (DIO, BLACK SABBATH) — will then likely play South America, Japan, Korea, Australia and Europe before returning to North America for a U.S. tour in August or September.
HEAVEN AND HELL confirmed European festival appearances so far:
Jun 6-9 - Sölvesborg, SWE @ Sweden Rock
Jun. 09 - Tampere, FIN @ Sauna Open Air
Jun. 22-23 – Balingen, GER @ Bang Your Head!!!
The upcoming Dio-era BLACK SABBATH anthology, "Black Sabbath: The Dio Years", will feature three new songs ("Shadow of the Wind", "Devil Cries" and "Ear in the Wall"), and is tentatively due this spring.
MOTÖRHEAD has been confirmed as the headliner next year's Earthshaker Fest, set to take place July 19-21, 2007 in Kreuth, Germany. More acts will be announced soon.
As previously reported, MOTÖRHEAD's new album, "Kiss of Death", entered the national album charts in the following countries: Germany: #4, Norway: #9, Sweden: #13, Austria: #20, Switzerland: #26, U.K.: #45, Denmark: #53. The CD was recorded at the Paramount studios in Los Angeles with Cameron Webb, who also worked with the group on 2004's "Inferno". The album includes guest appearances by POISON guitarist C.C. Deville and ALICE IN CHAINS bassist Mike Inez.
Classic Rock Magazine has opened their annual Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards for voting by the public here. CRMag is also having a competition for the chance to appear on the upcoming Classic Rock DVD and to be broadcast in front of the rock royalty on awards night in November, this year. To enter, email in .mpegs of yourselves (no longer than 30 seconds) explaining why you think your favourites should win on the night to firstname.lastname@example.org. Classic Rock's favourite five entrants will win a prize. The nominations you can vote on follow:
Album of the Year:
Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
The Answer - Rise
Wolfmother - Wolfmother
Iron Maiden - A Matter Of Life And Death
Motorhead - Kiss Of Death
Cheap Trick - Rockford
Opeth - Ghost Reveries
Band of the Year:
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme Back My Bullets
Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
Queen - A Night At The Opera
The Allman Brothers - Eat A Peach
The Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake
DVD of the Year:
Pink Floyd - Pulse
Cream - Disraeli Gears
A Headbanger's Journey
Whitesnake - Live In The Still Of The Night
Rush - Chronicles
Classic Rock Event of the Year:
Return of Monsters of Rock
Lordi winning Eurovision
Guns N' Roses tour
Metallica playing Master of Puppets at Download
Roger Waters playing Dark Side Of The Moon
Best New Band:
Pure Reason Revolution
On October 24, 2006, Restless Records will release "Butchering The Beatles" — featuring the biggest, the baddest, the heaviest all-star line-up ever assembled to honor what is arguably the greatest band ever — THE BEATLES. All-in-all, over 50 internationally known recording artists bring their unique bone-crushing slant to these remarkable songs. Produced by Grammy award-winning producer/guitarist Bob Kulick and ace engineer Brett Chassen, "Butchering The Beatles" features 12 new, ass-kicking versions of THE BEATLES' chart-topping hits, including "Hey Jude", "I Feel Fine" and "Day Tripper", plus the more esoteric "Hey Bulldog", barked out by the legendary Alice Cooper and "Tomorrow Never Knows", uniquely interpreted by the iconic Billy Idol, alongside classic concept songs like "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "Magical Mystery Tour".
When asked by Guitar Player magazine what possessed him to go all metal on THE BEATLES, Bob Kulick stated that, "BEATLES songs are the Holy Grail. They're the best rock songs ever written. These new recordings are totally faithful, yet completely different. Billy Gibbons singing 'Revolution' or (MOTÖRHEAD frontman) Lemmy singing 'Back In The USSR' are not exactly Paul McCartney or John Lennon. And of course, the guitar solo sections were lengthened to accommodate all the artists' solo styles."
"Butchering The Beatles" track listing: More...
Clutch will support Motorhead on tour in the UK this November. Here are the latest tour dates:
11/02 Newcastle, UK @ City Hall
11/04 Glasgow, UK @ Carling Glasgow Academy
11/05 Manchester, UK @ Carling Apollo Manchester
11/07 Bradford, UK @ St. George's Hall
11/08 Sheffield, UK @ City Hall
11/09 Birmingham, UK @ Carling Birmingham Academy
11/11 Cardiff, UK @ Cardiff University
11/12 Oxford, UK @ New Theatre
11/13 Leicester, UK @ De Montfort Hall
11/15 Norwich, UK @ University Of East Anglia
11/16 @ Cambridge, UK @ Corn Exchange
11/17 Ipswich, UK @ Ipswich Regent
11/19 Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
11/20 Bristol, UK @ Colston Hall
11/21 Plymouth, UK @ Plymouth Pavilions
11/23 Portsmouth, UK @ Portsmouth Guildhall
11/24 Folkestone, UK @ Leas Cliff Hall
11/25 London, UK @ Carling Brixton Academy
MTV Overdrive has a feature on the debate that took place when MTV set out to come up with the top ten greatest metal bands list. Here's a summary of the process:
"We reached out to the most passionate and knowledgable metal fans working at MTV and asked them to send us their individual picks for the 10 greatest, with the only criteria being "whatever greatness means to you." Some feel that the influence a band had on others is the most important factor in judging greatness; others say the strength of the albums is the primary concern; and some believe the power of a band's live performance is the ultimate measure. We did not care what each participants criteria was; we only asked them to vote from their hearts."
"In part two, we gathered everyone together, showed them the results, and asked them to either stand by it, or change it as they saw fit, the only rule being that a majority had to vote in favor of every change. The discussion and debate over the rankings is what you see in the Overdrive show."
"In such debate lies much geekdom and fun, and MTV's metal brain trust — our panel of experts, consisting of nine die-hard, longtime fans — had a blast conjuring and debating this list."
The resulting list of the greatest metal bands follows, but be sure to check out the video because it was actually an interesting discussion.
1. Black Sabbath
2. Judas Priest
4. Iron Maiden
10. Motley Crue
Read the full article at MTV.com.
MOTÖRHEAD have set "Kiss of Death" as the title of their new album, tentatively due on August 29 via Sanctuary Records. The follow-up to 2004's "Inferno" was produced by Cameron Webb, who also worked with the group on their last effort. A new MOTÖRHEAD track, entitled "Kingdom of the Worm", received its world premiere on Friday, May 19 during MOTÖRHEAD mainman Lemmy Kilmister's appearance on the "Jonesy's Jukebox" radio show on Indie 103.1 FM. A transcript of Lemmy's chat with "Jonesy's Jukebox" host Steve Jones (of the SEX PISTOLS fame) can be found at chriswasanon.blogspot.com (scroll down to the Monday, May 22, 2006 entry).
Lemmy is featured in the June 2006 issue of Maxim magazine as one of the top 10 "Living Legends of Sex." Also appearing in the issue are Jack Nicholson, Julio Iglesias, Gene Simmons, Charlie Sheen and Magic Johnson, among others.