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Band Photo: Motorhead (?)

Formed: 1975
From: London, United Kingdom
Last Known Status: Active

Background

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.

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Megadeth Announces Gigantour 2012 Dates

Gigantour, the travelling festival headlined by American thrash metal legends Megadeth, will be hitting the road once again in January. Megadeth will be joined on the trek by British metal icons Motorhead, as well as Danish rock and roller Volbeat and Italian gothic metal outfit Lacuna Coil.

The initial tour dates are as follows: More...

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Column

Pit Stories: The Motorhead Whirly-Bird

Every week Metalunderground.com seeks out fans and bands to share their memorable stories from the mosh pit. This week Jason Mackenroth, formerly of Rollins Band and current Mack member, shares a story of clearing out a Motorhead pit.

It was July 15th, 2000 and we were in the middle of a particularly intense Rollins Band summer tour of Europe. We'd been on a handful of dates with Motorhead on our European travels and this night Rollins Band was going on before Motorhead at the Monster Mastership Festival in Dortmund, Germany.

We'd hung a bit with Mikkey and Phil before the show and Mikkey watched our set and I remember having a pretty great show. So with my work behind me for the evening, I was ready for Motorhead. The Motorhead pit is always in top form it seems. I couldn't help getting involved. So I step in and start doing my thing, and end up running into our road manager, Mike Curtis. Apparently, I'd hit him in the face! He quickly got my attention and I immediately grabbed both his hands in a criss-cross handshake. The two us did the infamous whirly-bird throughout the pit and cleared it completely in seconds, flinging people with the greatest of ease. With the kind of momentum this move generates, it usually knocks people right out of the ring. But it seemed like most folks just got out of the way before they were hit and left pulseless.

Mack — featuring former Rollins Band drummer Jason Mackenroth, bassist Michael “MK” Kelly (Magnified), and guitarist Billy O’Malley (Seka, Stripmind, Jocobono) — just released "Pay To Play," the follow-up to Mack’s self-titled debut album. Blas Elias (Slaughter) is the band’s live drummer, enabling Mackenroth to step out front on lead vocals. A Mack 2012 U.S. tour will also be announced soon.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal called the "Pay To Play" album “a modern-day update of the harder edges of Kiss' '70s catalog: songs of sex, sin and redemption powered by shout-along hooks, octopus-armed drumming and lots of fist-in-the-air guitar soloing. It's a visceral, overheated, organic-sounding recording.” You can check out Mack's music by heading over to the band's Reverbnation page here.

Be sure to check back next Tuesday for more pit stories, or share your favorite mosh pit experience in the comments below.

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Motörhead to Release Live DVD/CD

Metal gods Motörhead will release their new live DVD and CD "The Wörld Is Ours Vol. 1 - Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else" on November 21, 2011. The live performances were shot from the band's latest tour in support of "The World Is Yours" by Sam Dunn ("Metal: A Headbangers Journey"). The April 9, 2011 show was captured in its entirety in Santiago, Chile with select footage from shows in Manchester, U.K. and New York. The package also includes interviews from the tour as well as a live CD.

The track listing for the DVD/CD is:

Live In Santiago, Chile:

1. We Are Motörhead
2. Stay Clean
3. Get Back In Line
4. Metropolis
5. Over the Top
6. One Night Stand
7. Rock Out
8. The Thousand Names of God
9. I Got Mine
10. I Know How to Die
11. The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
12. In the Name of Tragedy
13. Just 'Cos You Got the Power
14. Going to Brazil
15. Killed by Death
16. Ace of Spades
17. Overkill More...

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Graveyard To Support Motorhead

Sweden's Graveyard has been confirmed as the supporting act for the German leg of Motorhead's European tour in November.

Commented the band: "This year is getting more and more unbelievable for us. As it if it wasn't enough that we got the chance to open for Maiden in our hometown, now we're gonna go on tour with the essence of rock'n'roll - Motörhead!! Once again we feel deeply honoured to get a sort of approval to step into rock history by opening for Motörhead. And when you're talking about Motörhead, there's no way of getting around talking about Lemmy. That cat has always been an inspiration to us, all the way from Sam Gopal to Motörhead. Not only musically through his combination of psychedelia, rock and punk. But also through his relentlessness, something we hold very high in the Graveyard camp. But let's not forget that we also get to go on tour with a fellow Gothenburger - Mikkey Dee - the magic stikks wizard!"

Dates are as follows:

11/23/2011 Berlin Coulmbiahalle
11/24/2011 Leipzig Haus Auensee
11/26/2011 Munich Zenith
11/27/2011 Stuttgart Schleyerhalle
11/29/2011 Dusseldorf Philipshalle
11/30/2011 Hamburg Sporthalle

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Megadeth To Re-Launch Gigantour With Motorhead

American thrash metal legends Megadeth has announced that they will be bringing back their Gigantour touring package for early next year. Megadeth will headline the event, with British icons Motorhead also on the bill, as well as Italian gothic metal band Lacuna Coil and Danish rock and roll outfit Volbeat. No dates have been confirmed as of yet but it is expected to kick off in January and conclude in March.

Megadeth's new studio album, "Th1rt3en" will be released through Roadrunner Records on October 31st in Europe and November 1st in North America.

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Doro Comments On Working With Sister Sin

Sister Sin has recorded a cover version of Motorhead's "Rock 'N Roll", which is now available on iTunes. You can also check out a video clip below of metal queen Doro, who teamed up with Sister Sin for the cover, as she comments on getting involved in the cover song.

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OpEd

Returning To Form

We metal fans are a devoted lot. Once we find a favorite band, we tend to stick around through thick and thin. A favorite band tends to stay a favorite band, even when our tastes move on. And, yes, even when that band's sound changes or, even worse, when that band becomes "popular" based on a lighter sound, we often hang around.

Sure, we bitch about it, but I guarantee that more than half of the people who boldly claimed online that they were through with, say, Metallica, had purchased copies of "Load" and "Reload" (you know, just to complete the collection). It couldn't have just been the new fans turned on by the Black Album that did it. And yet, those of us who'd been there in the "Puppets" and "Justice" years held out hope that, just maybe, the band would come back to that style and aggression. We can all argue about whether "Death Magnetic" was the return to form we'd been looking for, but recently, I had the pleasure of listening to an album by another thrash mainstay that definitely is.

I've been asked to hold off on a full review of Anthrax's "Worship Music" until closer to the release date, but suffice it to say that this is the album that fans have been waiting for for a very long time. Tracks like "Fight 'Em Til You Can't" recapture the comic book and horror-film fun of the "Among The Living" era, while the appropriately dirge-like "In The End" recalls the slow stomp of "Keep It In The Family" from "Persistence Of Time." But rather than simply reconstitute the successful formula of their early work — a la "Death Magnetic" — the band has also kept around the best of what worked during the John Bush era, namely an increased push toward melody and groove. I could (and will) go on at length later, but suffice it to say that I think a lot of fans will be pleasantly shocked by just how far this album exceeds expectations.

I've had this experience before. A dyed-in-the-wool Megadeth fan, I thrilled to the early years of "Killing Is My Business ... And Business Is Good!" and "Peace Sells ... But Who's Buying?" Things reached fever pitch with "Rust In Peace" — and then the band entered what I tend to think of as its "pop phase." Dave Mustaine has said that he was in the hunt for a No. 1 album, and the choices that were made on many of the albums that followed in the 1990s ("Countdown To Extinction," "Youthanasia," "Cryptic Writings" and "Risk") bore that out. Gone were the multilayered songs that crammed three time changes and four solos into three minutes. Now, comparative (some would argue radio-ready) simplicity was the order of the day, with Mustaine himself contributing less in the way of guitar solos. Worse yet, with "Risk," Mustaine seemed to be trend-chasing, adding bursts of electronica to the mix to poor effect.

Granted, the comeback for Megadeth started with "The World Needs A Hero," in which the thrash started gaining a bit more prevalence. It continued with "The System Has Failed," which featured Mustaine trading solos with original Megadeth ax-man Chris Poland.

Then came "United Abominations," which absolutely blew the doors off. The fact that the band was arguably the most talented iteration of Megadeth (with ex-Eidolon players Shawn and Glen Drover on drums and guitar and James LoMenzo on bass) didn't hurt. From the opening machine-gun guitar of "Sleepwalker," it was obvious that the fiery aggression of the early years was back, tempered ever-so-slightly with the more melodic sounds of the 1990s. More...

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Motorhead Drummer Speaks On Deceased Guitarist

In a recent interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen, Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee shared his thoughts on former band mate Michael "Wurzel" Burston, who sadly passed away on Saturday. An excerpt from the interview reads:

"He wrote damn good Motörhead riffs. I remember that I missed that when he was not there. I missed the simple classic Motörhead riffs. They were never written after that. They left with him. He was wonderful, he was really funny. There was a lot of rock and roll in the old man."

A statement from the group's management released on behalf of Motorhead read: More...

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Headline News

Former Motorhead Guitarist Passes Away

Although no official statement has been released at this time, it is being widely reported that former Motorhead guitarist Michael "Wurzel" Burston passed away earlier today at the age of sixty one, after suffering of ventricular fibrillation, caused by cardiomyopathy. More information will be made available as soon as this is confirmed. Burston joined the band in 1984 and performed on the following albums:

No Remorse (1984)
Orgasmatron (1986)
Rock 'n' Roll (1987)
Nö Sleep at All (1988)
The Birthday Party (1990)
1916 (1991)
March ör Die (1992)
Bastards (1993)
Sacrifice (1995) More...

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Primordial And Xerath Added To Bloodstock 2011

The organisers of Britain's Bloodstock Open Air festival has announced that Irish black metal outfit Primordial and British extreme metal band Xerath have been added to this year's edition of the event. The festival will take place from August 12th-14th in Catton Hall, Derbyshire and will feature this lineup:

Friday:
W.A.S.P. (Headliners)
Devin Townsend Project
Kreator
Coroner
Triptykon
Poisonblack
Wolf
Lawnmower Deth
October File
Byfrost
Arthemis

Saturday:
Immortal (Headliners)
Rhapsody Of Fire
Therion
Grave Digger
Angel Witch
The Rotted
Deadly Circus Fire
Def Con One

Sunday:
Motorhead (Headliners)
Morbid Angel
Amorphis
Nevermore
Hammerfall
Exodus
Tarot
Napalm Death
Primordial
1349
Criminal
Primevil
Power Quest
Survivors Zero
Nemhain

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Motorhead Frontman To Release New "Headcat" Album

Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister has announced that he will releasing a new album with his rockabilly/country music act Headcat. The trio, which also features Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats and Danny B. Harvey from Lonesome Spurs, will release "Walk The Walk...Talk The Talk" on July 5, 2011 through Niji Entertainment - the record label Wendy Dio and her and late husband Ronnie James Dio formed before his tragic passing. A trailer for the album is available for viewing below as well as the album's official track listing.



1. American Beat
2. Say Mama
3. I Ain't Never
4. Bad Boy
5. Shaking All Over
6. Let It Rock
7. Something Else
8. The Eagle Flies On Friday
9. Trying To Get To You
10. You Can't Do That
11. It'll Be Me
12. Crossroads

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Lineup Announced For Rock In Concert Open Air

Wolfchant is one of the latest bands to be confirmed to perform at Germany's Rock In Concert Open Air festival, whichl takes place in Lichtenfels, Germany on both the 17th and 18th. The currently announced running order is as follows:

Friday, June 17, 2011

11:15 pm Motörhead
09:15 pm Alice Cooper
07:25 pm Broilers
05:55 pm Danko Jones
04:25 pm Misfits
03:10 pm D-A-D
01:50 pm The Bones
12:45 pm 9mm - Assi Rock'n'Roll
11:50 am Andy Brings
11:00 am Guns Of Moropolis More...

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Full Lineup For 2011 Heavy MTL Festival Announced

Death metal veterans Morbid Angel have announced that they will be taking part in the forthcoming edition of the Heavy MTL festival. Heavy MTL 2011 is set to take place on July 23rd and 24th at Parc Jean-Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. You can view the entire festival lineup below.

Saturday, July 23:
DISTURBED
GODSMACK
BILLY TALENT
IN FLAMES
TRIVIUM
MACHINE HEAD
UNEARTH
SUICIDE SILENCE
KINDGOM OF SORROW
ALL SHALL PERISH
RED FANG
STRAIGHT LINE STITCH
BLACKGUARD
CRYPTOPSY
DEAD & DIVINE
NECRONOMICON
SLAVES ON DOPE
MASS MURDER MESSIAH
GRIMSKUNK

Sunday, July 24:
KISS
MOTÖRHEAD
MORBID ANGEL
ANNIHILATOR
OPETH
ANTHRAX
CHILDREN OF BODOM
AS I LAY DYING
THE SWORD
TIMES OF GRACE
DEVILDRIVER
DIAMOND HEAD
GIRLSCHOOL
ENDAST
GORGUTS
LAZURUS A.D.
LES GUENILLES
THE CATALYST
ANONYMUS

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System Of A Down Added To Rock In Rio 2011

Reunited nu-metal act System of a Down has announced that it will be participating in the forthcoming Rock In Rio festival. The 2011 edition of the event is set to take place between September 23 - October 2, 2011 in Olympic Park, Barra da Tijuca/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Other notable acts scheduled to appear include;

METALLICA
MOTÖRHEAD
SLIPKNOT
SEPULTURA
GUNS N' ROSES
ANGRA
COHEED AND CAMBRIA
EVANESCENCE

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Three More Bands Confirmed For Brutal Assault 2011

The organisers of the Czech Republic's Brutal Assault festival has announced a further three confirmations for this year's event. Newly added to the bill are Scottish hardcore punk/crossover thrash legends The Exploited, Bay Area thrash veterans Forbidden and American mathcore outfit The Dillinger Escape Plan. The festival will take place from August 11th-13th in Josefov, Czech Republic.

The lineup is as follows: More...

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Motorhead Announces U.K. Tour Dates

Hard rock icons Motorhead have announced that they will once again be embarking on a headlne tour of the United Kingdom this Autumn, where they will be joined by punk rock veterans UK Subs. Tickets for the band's 2011 UK tour go on sale this Friday April 15th at 9am.

The tour dates are as follows:

November 2 - Bradford, UK - St Georges
November 3 - Wolverhampton, UK - Civic Hall
November 5 - Stoke-on-Trent, UK - Victoria Hall
November 6 - Cambridge, UK - Corn Exchange
November 8 - Bristol, UK - Colston Hall
November 11 - Norwich, UK - UEA
November 12 - London, UK - Hammersmith Apollo
November 14 - Newcastle, UK - O2 Academy
November 15 - Glasgow, UK - O2 Academy
November 17 - Nottingham, UK - Royal Centre
November 18 - Manchester , UK- O2 Apollo

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2011 "Heavy T.O." Festival Lineup Revealed

The official lineup has been announced for the first ever "Heavy T.O" festival, which is set to take place at Downsview Park in Toronto, Ontario on July 23rd and 24th, 2011. The following acts have been announced thus far, with more expected to be announced shortly.

Megadeth
Rob Zombie
Billy Talent
Slayer
Anthrax
Opeth
Motorhead
Mastodon
Children Of Bodom
Testament
As I Lay Dying
Baptized In Blood
Anvil
The Sword
Times Of Grace
Melissa Auf der Maur
DevilDriver

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Report

Motorhead Came To Austin With Guns A'blazing

The rustic décor of Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater seemed ideal for Motorhead front man Lemmy. Wearing his trademark black western wear, Lemmy could have been an outlaw gambler in a past life, searching out a lucrative poker game in the saloons of Texas’s capital city. March 8, 2011 wasn’t the scene of a 1980s Kenny Roger’s film, but Motorhead came prepared with an “Ace of Spades” up their sleeves.

Even after 37 years in the rock‘n’roll biz, Motorhead has a reach and longevity like few others. Their crossover appeal brought in a sold-out crowd of over 2,000 old school metal heads, bikers, punks, thrashers, black metal fans and stoners. Although nowhere near the legend of Motorhead, Maryland’s bluesy, heavy rock troupe Clutch has carved its own niche in the hard rock world. Their inclusion on the tour not only brought in a unique section of fans; the group’s style was a good fit with Motorhead.

Valient Thorr’s sleazy rock disposition gave the tour a feeling of completeness. The North Carolina opener fed the crowd large doses of volume to go with the huge quantities of beer and BBQ (look for Stubb’s products in your local grocery store) it had already ingested. Front man, Valient Himself stalked the stage like a Sasquatch, hair obscuring his face with every bang of his head.

Wearing jean jackets, bassist Dr. Professor Nitewolf Strangees and guitarists Sadat Thorr and Eidan Thorr combined to form old school metal tandems. Tracks such as set closer 'Sleeper Awakes' and 'Mask of Sanity' proved the band supplemented their stoner rock diet with a few dishes of Judas Priest, Metallica, and Iron Maiden.

Clutch slowed down the pace set by Valient Thorr. The group has become mellower since I first saw them open for Sepultura in 1994. The bruising "Come on Motherfucker" or the hopping dynamics of "Space Grass" were not on display. In fact, the group played nothing from the first two records, which commonly happens when a band has twenty-plus-years of recordings.

“Blast Tyrant” marked the earliest material, which the group obviously highlighted to promote its upcoming reissue. Clutch played album favorites 'I Am Immortal,' 'The Mob Goes Wild,' and 'Cypress Grove' to a welcomed applause. Another notable track was '50,000 Unstoppable Watts' from the “Strange Cousins from the West” album.

Clutch has made a name for itself as a jam band. While I’ve seen Clutch go off on longer tangents, the group made sure to insert a couple of jam sessions. Even though the years have faded their aggression, Clutch’s musical skill has vastly improved. Neil Fallon and Tim Sult created a dialog with the stars through trippy guitar solos. Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster displayed impressive chops, something I didn’t notice until his performance with Wino on “Punctuated Equilibrium.”

Amidst a winged backdrop and drum platform scribed with the title of their new album, Motorhead pushed the venue’s speakers to the max. While not cranking their volume to the extent as their indoor performance (the last time I saw Motorhead) with Black Sabbath and Morbid Angel in 1994 (good year for concerts), I would not advise standing in front of a speaker. A blown speaker needed the help of Mickey Dee’s snare hits to straighten out the static produced by Lemmy’s rumbling bass. More...

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Motorhead Cancels Brisbane Show

British heavy metal icons Motorhead have made some changes to their forthcoming tour of Australia, which has resulted in the band's concert in Brisbane being canceled entirely.

The new tour schedule is now as follows:

March 26 - Melbourne, Australia - Festival Hall (licensed)
March 28 - Sydney, Australia - Big Top (18+)
March 30 - Adelaide, Australia - Thebarton (All Ages)
April 1 - Gold Coast, Australia - Convention Centre (All Ages)

You can also check out Motorhead's recent performance on Jimmy Fallon at this location.

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Column

The Rockstar Ramblings: All About The $

Michael Sweet from the Christian glam band Styper is auctioning off the rights to the classic song “Together as One” as well as dinner with Sweet. Aggressive drinkers who have a tendency to drop a lot of F bombs during the main course are advised to stay away… More...

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