(This dude means serious rock'n'roll business.)
Being the pop culture junkie that I am, I watched the 2010 "rockumentary" Lemmy over the weekend because of all the big names in rock that lend their chops to the film. I've never really stepped foot into the heavy metal community, but I've always been prone to learning the history behind different musical movements. After watching the film, I instantly felt a sense of adoration for the Godfather of Heavy Metal, so I feel it's only best to write up a tribute piece about the coolest of the cool: Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead.
Born on Christmas Eve, 1945, little Ian Fraser got settled in a handful of England suburbs with his mother and grandmother until they decided upon Madeley, Staffordshire. Growing up without his biological dad, Lemmy says in the film that the presence of women in his household really helped him understand the female brain (which may be why he's claimed to have bedded over 1,000 women? Yipes!).
But wait - if Lemmy was actually born Ian, how did he get his distinctive nickname? He's not sure exactly, but thinks that it might have stemmed from his habit of borrowing money from friends (his signature catchphrase as a kid: "LEMMY a quid till Friday"…get it? Let me? Lemmy? Hehehe!).
Naturally, the young British lad was obsessed with the Beatles (and still is to this day), so he was inspired to pick up a guitar at 16, and played in local bands around town. This lead to his spot in the Rockin' Vickers, who had commercial success around Europe and gave the band the title of the first British group to visit Yugoslavia. Lemmy eventually moved on and became a roadie for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, where he befriended the guitar god. Lemmy questioned changing his last name from his stepfather's Willis to his biological father's Kilmister around this point in his career.
Then came the Hawkwind era. In 1971, Lemmy switched roles from guitar to bass when he joined the space-rock group. Hawkwind influenced many musical acts, including the Sex Pistols and Black Flag, with their unique sound and style. Lemmy was booted from the band in 1975 for his erratic behavior, which was actually blessing in disguise, because after his stint in Hawkwind came his role in shaping music history…
Rocking on his instantly recognizable Rickenbacker bass and singing into his highly-placed mic (he finds it more comfortable, plus he doesn't like to look at the crowd), Lemmy founded the ORIGINAL heavy metal band Motörhead and he's been keepin' it going since 1975. He's a gravel-voiced cult icon, who recently relocated to LA by his favorite bar The Rainbow in a modest-sized apartment. Instead of living the lavish rock star lifestyle, he spends his time with his son, collecting knic-knacks and also writing as much music as he possibly can.
What can I say? After checking out Lemmy (which is apparently on Netflix right now), I've got a soft spot for the 65-year-old rocker. Here's Motörhead biggest and greatest hit, "Ace Of Spades", for your viewing pleasure: