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.
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...
Motörhead is streaming the brand new track titled "Thunder & Lightning", taken from the upcoming new album "Bad Magic" which will be released on August 28th (UDR Music/Motörhead Music).
Check out now "Thunder & Lightning" below.
Motörhead is due to release upcoming new album "Bad Magic" later this summer, with the band commenting:
"And here is the news we’ve all been waiting for… It’s official! We’re releasing our 22nd studio album 'Bad Magic' on August 28th this year!
Are you excited? Well you should be! As well as the album release on August 28th (UDR Music/Motörhead Music) we would also like to announce our Anniversary European tour this fall, with more international dates to follow.
After canceling a show in São Paulo due to health issues, Motorhead has checked in with the following update about the situation:
"Due to a food related tummy problem, unfortunately Lemmy was not able to perform the show in São Paulo.
"He is already feeling much better and ready to continue the South America dates! Next stop Curitiba!
"Lemmy regrets this mishap very much and is looking forward to making it up to all the fans."
Motörhead was forced to cancel its performance at the Monsters Of Rock festival at Arena Anhembi, São Paulo, Brazil yesterday because Lemmy was suffering from gastric distress and dehydration.
Lemmy is undergoing tests at a local hospital and is unable to perform this weekend. British NWOBHM legends Judas Priest, who were scheduled to play right after Motörhead, added 30 more minutes to their set as a result of Motörhead's cancelation.
Check out one of Lemmy Kilmister's rare 2015 live appearances performing Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" with Foo Fighters, Zakk Wylde and Slash at The Forum in Los Angeles on January 10, 2015.
Motörhead's Motörboat will embark on its second voyage September 28th through October 2nd, 2015 on Norwegian Sky, departing Port Miami with stops in Nassau and the private picturesque island of Great Stirrup Cay in The Bahamas.
The "Loudest Boat In The World" will feature performances from Slayer, Motörhead, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, Exodus, Crobot, Phil Campbell’s All Starr Band, Motor Sister, Kyng, Fireball Ministry, Huntress, and more.
Staterooms go on sale Wednesday, March 25 at 2:00 PM ET at this location. Motörhead founder Lemmy Kilmister: "And so the Motörboat sets sail one more time - better get your tickets now, or be left sobbing on the dock! Oh - and we promise not to run out of beer this time!"
Slayer’s Kerry King adds, “Slayer is crashing the Motörboat party!! I, personally, will be keeping the bar in business. Hell will be coming with us. Light it up!!!” More...
Celebrating a 40th anniversary as rock n’ roll’s undisputed rebels, musical legends Motorhead will appear on this weekend’s edition of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show.
The show airs this Saturday, March 7th at 9pm/8pm Central, and features Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey of Motorhead as the honored Metal Modem guests via remote video. Make sure to tune in, and for more information on the show, head to this location.
Motorhead is currently in the recording studio with longtime producer Cameron Webb working on an upcoming album, which is due out in the Fall of 2015.
The revered trio will support the Foo Fighters on tour this July in Japan and Korea (including a stop at the longest-standing music fest in Japan, the Fuji Rock Festival on July 24th, and the Ansan Valley Rock Festival in South Korea on July 26th) in addition to planning a U.S. tour for late Summer 2015. Additionally, the band will set sail on the Motorhead Motörboat cruise in late September.
The 43rd episode of the MetalUnderground.com Official Podcast opens up with "Pull The Trigger" by Portland band of the week Never Awake. This week co-hosts Kevin Perez (n0thinghead), Ollie Hynes (Diamond Oz) & Dustin Beaudrey ("F.A.N.") embark on a dark and gloomy discussion on the subject of metal icons' mortality and how illness and lifestyle can deeply affect the metal community along with their own legacies. Concluding with Kevin announcing more local concert ticket giveaways while Never Awake's "The Will To Live" plays us out.
Check out the new podcast at this location and feel free to leave us your feedback!