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flag England - Full Moon 238 - 01/24/16

Lemmy (a.k.a. Ian Fraser Kilmister)
24 December 1945 - 28 December 2015

Lemmy As a teen guitarist Ian joined local bands like The Rainmakers and The Motown Sect in Stockport, Lancashire. By 1965 he teamed up with The Rockin' Vickers from Blackpool a little further to the north and recorded three singles with them. The last two included cover versions of songs by The Who and The Kinks, produced by Who and Kinks producer in those days, Shel Talmy. He went to London in 1967 and worked as a roadie for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In 1968 he joined the psychedelic hard rockin' drum kit-less band Sam Gopal, named after the band's tablas player. Lemmy, or Ian Willis as he was named on the band's only album Escalator, considered to change his surname at this time, to his stepfather's, ex-football player George Willis. But he didn't. Our man was the band's lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter at the time.

Escalator (Ian Willis)

Sam Gopal

Time goes by and I can see
All the things I want to be
When I open wide my eyes
They tell me no lies

And I can feel it
The spring unwinding in my head
And if you think you like me living, baby
You're gonna love me when I'm dead

If you could search there, you would find
Screaming chaos in my mind
All the thoughts I've thought before
Behind the closing door

Give me a reason
Why I should be in any doubt
All the doubts are fading, baby
The walls are down, I'm breaking out

(Alright!)

Lightning tears apart the sky
Burning warriors fight and die
Volcanoes roaring, spewing fire
Time is spinning sideways

Only one way
To explain what's come to pass
I been looking in the mirror, baby
And now I'm living in the black

Lemmy went on to the psychedelic band Opal Butterfly in 1969 after having met the band's 19 year old drummer Simon King, whom Lemmy later persuaded to join Hawkwind. He was kicked out of the band after a few moonths and one single. By 1971 he was persuaded to pick up the bass in Hawkwind. The band needed a bassist in a hurry for a benefit gig. He didn't have any bass experience and played it the way he played rhythm guitar, including chords. He remained in the band for nearly four years, one live and three studio albums. Occasionally he sang lead, including on the band's only hit single "Silver Machine" from 1972. The last song he wrote for Hawkwind before he was kicked out in May 1975 after being arrested for drug possession was called:

Motorhead (Lemmy Kilmister)
(B-side of the single "Kings of Speed", United Artists Records, 1975)

Motorhead

Sunrise wrong side of another day
Sky-high and six thousand miles away
Don't know how long I've been awake
Wound up in an amazing state
Can't get enough,
And you know it's the righteous stuff
Goes up like prices at Christmas
Motorhead
You can call me
Motorhead
That's right!

Brained out total amnesia
Got some mental anaesthesia
Don't move, I'll shut the door and kill the lights
If I can be wrong, I must be right
All good clean fun, have another stick of gum
Man you're looking better already,
Motorhead
Remember me now
Motorhead
Alright!

Fourth day, five day marathon
We're moving like a parallelogram
Let's move, see you all on the ice
Don't move, I'll shut the door and kill the lights
I should be tired, and all I am is wired
I ain't felt this good for an hour
Motorhead,
Remember me now
Motorhead
Alright!

[Lemmy: "I was on tour with Hawkwind in 1974. We were staying at the Riot House and Roy Wood and Wizzard were also in town. I got this urge to write a song in the middle of the night. I ran downstairs to the Wizzard room, got Roy's Ovation acoustic guitar, then hurried back to mine. I went on to the balcony and howled away for four hours. Cars were stopping and the drivers were listening then driving off, and there I was yelling away at the top of my voice.", RiffsThatChangedTheWorld]

He then formed a band originally called Bastard. They soon changed it, and took the name from the aforementioned song. The power-trio, and ditto quartet for some years, with Lemmy and a changing line of drummers and guitarists fully devoted to the important things in life: sex, drugs, rock and roll...

Born To Raise Hell (Lemmy Kilmister)

Lemmy

Listen up here, I'll make it quite clear
I'm gonna put some boogie in your ear
Shake and bop, don't you stop
Dance like a maniac until you drop

I don't mind, I don't mind
I can run a razor right up your spine
What are you waiting for
What do you think you were created for

Show us, you care, show us you dare
You don't know what happened, not if you weren't there

Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
Voodoo medicine cast my spell
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
Play that guitar just like ringing a bell
Take it or leave it

Going for broke, rock 'til you choke
It don't matter if you drink or smoke
Speak through the beat, get up on your feet
Sweating like a hound dog, white as a sheet

Don't you be scared, don't you be scared
Everybody terrified, it don't seem fair
What are you waiting for
What do you think you were created for

Out of your seat, blind in the heat
Do the nasty boogie mama, stomp your feet
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell

We know how to do it and we do it real well
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
Go back to zero take a pill and get well
Be a good soldier and die where you fell

Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
Go on out and boogie 'cos you never can tell
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
Be a good soldier and die where you fell
Born to raise hell, Born to raise hell
We know how to do it and we do it real well


Lemmy CV: The Rockin' Vickers, Sam Gopal, Opal Butterfly, Hawkwind, Robert Calvert's band, The Damned, Headgirl, Motördamn, The Crowd [a project in aid of the Bradford City Disaster Fund, 1985], The Head Cat, Lemmy & The Upsetters, Metällihead, but first (and last) of all: Motörhead.

Guest appearances (selected): Sex Pistols, Nina Hagen, Shonen Knife, Ramones, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, (Dave Grohl's) Probot, Girlschool, Slash, Michael Monroe, Nashville Pussy, to name but a few.

Selected filmography:
Eat the Rich (Dir. Peter Richardson, 1987, UK) [Feature] : as 'Spider'
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (Dir. Penelope Spheeris, 1988, USA) [Documentary] : Lemmy
Hardware (Dir. Richard Stanley, 1990, UK/USA) [Feature] : as 'Taxi driver'
Airheads (Dir. Michael Lehmann, 1994, USA) [Feature] : as 'School Newspaper Rocker' (credited as Lemmy von Motörhead)
Tromeo and Juliet (Dir. Lloyd Kaufman, 1996, USA) [Feature] : as 'The Narrator'
Frezno Smooth (Dir. Troy Adamitis and Adam Barker, 1999, USA) [Feature] : as 'Lawyer'
Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV (Dir. Lloyd Kaufman, 2000, USA) [Feature] : as 'Good Lemmy / Bad Lemmy'
Down and Out with the Dolls (Dir. Kurt Voss, 2001, USA) [Feature] : as 'Joe'
Ramones Raw (Dir. John Cafiero, 2004, USA) [Documentary] : Lemmy
The Curse of El Charro (Dir. Rich Ragsdale, 2005) [Feature] : as 'Priest'
Hawkwind: Do Not Panic (Simon Chu, 2007, UK) [TV Movie Documentary] : Lemmy
Full of Regret (Dir. Jason Diamond, Josh Diamond, 2010, USA) [Short] : as 'Big Boss'
Lemmy (Dir. Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski, 2010, USA) [Documentary] : Lemmy
Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1 (Dir. Lloyd Kaufman, 2013, USA) [Feature] : as 'The President'
Gutterdämmerung: The Loudest Silent Film On Earth (Dir. Björn Tagemose, 2016, BE/SE) [Part rock show, part immersive cinema] : as 'General' (alongside Henry Rollins, Grace Jones, Slash, Iggy Pop, Josh Homme, Mark Lanegan, Tom Araya, and others).

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