Lemmy's answering machine: Good morning! Or if you're in Australia, good evening! Or if you're in Cambodia, good bye! Um, leave me a message and I'll call you back as soon as humanely possible. Cheers.
Nardwuar: Hello, Lemmy. This is Nardwuar phoning from Vancouver, BC. I'm just phoning regarding the interview we're going to be having
Hello, is that Lemmy?
Hi, it's Nardwuar the Human Serviette.
Hi. Am I disturbing you?
Oh, okay. Do you have time for a quick interview here at all?
Yeah, I didn't hear about it though.
I don't mind doing it though.
Okay, no problem. It was your record label.
I wish they'd told me! (laughs)
They just said, "Give Lemmy a call".
Well they should have told me, but anyway it doesn't matter, it's just like-
So is it okay if I ask you a few questions, now?
Yeah, go ahead
Who are you?
Who am I?
Who are you?
I am that guy.
You are Lemmy from Motorhead!
You really are Lemmy from Motorhead!
Yeah, I know.
Lemmy, who is the Freak of the Week? Who is the Freak of the Week this week?
I don't know. I've met quite a few of them. (laughs) We've been on tour until last Sunday.
Right. Could Blackie Lawless be the Freak of the Week?
No, he's the Geek of the Week.
He's crazy like a fox, isn't he?
No, he's not.
What exactly happened there, Lemmy? I heard it was all WASP's fault that the Vancouver Motorhead show was cancelled.
Blackie pulled out of the tour, you know.
What exactly happened, Lemmy? I heard it had something to do with feathers.
No no. Politics. Backstage bullshit, you know. I mean, there's a lot of, I've done a lot of touring in my time, you know, and this is the first one I've ever walked out of.
Because people in Vancouver were really, really looking forward to the gig here. It would've been
I was looking forward to it too. We don't hardly ever play there, you know. It was a treat to be treat to be playing there, and I'm sorry but it wasn't me who screwed it up, you know.
What was going on with WASP? I heard they were lip-syncing songs. They were actually lip-syncing them. How dare they fuck with Motorhead! How dare anybody fuck with Lemmy and Motorhead.
Yeah, well that is exactly how I felt. (laughs)
Motorhead are, like, you're eternal. WASP are has-beens. What the hell is going on there?
Well, they thought they were, no, it was Blackie. I don't have a problem with the rest of them. I see them. I don't know what happened to him. I don't want to backnab anybody on the radio, you know. We had our differences and we left the tour. That's all.
That's very gracious of you, Lemmy of Motorhead. Well, actually, other people were thinking that perhaps the Vancouver show got cancelled because of that Canadian border, fear of the Canadian border because long ago, as the legend goes, you were kicked out of Hawkwind for getting busted at the Canadian border for carrying two grams of biker's speed so it-
That was a long time ago, you know. I've been to Canada many times since then. We just haven't been to Vancouver. I've been to Vancouver since then twice.
What was it like getting kicked out of Hawkwind for carrying biker's speed? Have you ever been in a Hell's Angels clubhouse at all, Lemmy of Motorhead?
Yeah, I've been in them a couple of times.
Did you ever see any Motorhead posters on the wall? How did they treat you?
They treated us all right. We were guests. The Hell's Angels are very courteous when it comes to guests.
What do you think of Canada, Lemmy of Motorhead? What do you think about Canada?
I think it's a great country. I mean, they treat us very well. I think it's unfortunate that it's next to the United States, really. You didn't have a chance to really, you never quite got up from under the United States' influence. You know what I mean?
Well the Americans and the Canadians are quite interesting, but Canadians are really, well, they kind of joined together with the Americans because there is a Canadian record label called Lance Rock that released a band comprised of members of the Fastbacks which is a Seattle band and they were called Motorhoney. Did you ever hear about that?
Vaguely. When was that, a couple of years ago?
Yeah, it was an all-girl band called Motorhoney, a tribute to Motorhead.
Yeah, I've got one of their stickers actually.
A Canadian record label felt it should be released and they released an American band called Motorhoney. Canadians and Americans do kind of come together. But Lemmy of Motorhead, Paul Rudolph of Hawkwind and Pink Fairies, he lives in Vancouver.
Yeah, I know. That's where he's from.
He's a Canadian! Did he replace you when you were in Hawkwind.
So you were replaced by a Canadian!
Yeah, and he wasn't up to the job.
Have you kept in touch with Paul Rudolph at all? Because he's doing all these projects, like Twink was just in town. Do you remember Twink at all? Did you ever play with him?
Pink Fairies, yeah. Twink started out in the Pretty Things.
Yeah, right, with Viv Prince and all that.
And before that- no, he replaced Viv Prince- but before that it was the Fairies, a band called the Fairies in the '60s.
And he was in the In Crowd too.
Did you ever see Tomorrow? Twink was in a band called Tomorrow. Did you ever see them at all?
The In Crowd became Tomorrow. That was the same band.
Did you ever see them, Lemmy?
Yeah, before that they were the Faultless One. This is a history lesson for you.
Yeah, thanks very much, Lemmy of Motorhead!
Keith West was in that band that formed Tomorrow, and Steve Howe, who is also in the band.
Lemmy, what other bands were you in before Motorhead? You were in the Rocking "Vigh-kurrs."
"Vickers." Sorry about that. What type of band was that?
Uh, sort of a rock `n roll band. We used to play stuff like R&B songs and the Capitols, "Cool Jerk." Stuff like that. We were interested in Vickers covers and Finnish national costumes. (laughs) Kind of like the Who.
Did you really play behind the Iron Curtain?
Yeah, the first band to play behind the Iron Curtain.
What happened to the rest of the guys in the Rocking "Vigh-kurrs."
They are still up in Rutle.
I heard you once had a job walking donkeys along the beach. Kids would be on donkeys-
That was in Wales.
What was that job all about? This seems interesting! Lemmy of Motorhead walking donkeys with kids on the beach.
Well, I didn't do that. I used to take rides in school. I used to ride horses, not donkeys.
Did you ever wear those tights at all? They were sort of a precursor to Spandex, those biking-
Those tights? Biking tights?
Tights, you know. Tights for when you're riding a horse.
I don't understand. What do you mean?
You know like when you see people when they're riding a horse, they wear tight pants, tights, special-
Tights are what we call pantyhose. Okay, yes. I didn't wear pantyhose much.
Did you ever wear Spandex at all, Lemmy?
And you were saying about the Rocking "Vee-kuhrs."
Vickers it is. V-I-C-K-E-R-S.
You were saying about the Rocking "Vigh-kurrs," Lemmy, just joking, um, played some Who-type stuff. Were you a mod? Were you a mod or a rocker? Were you into that kind of Creation/Downliner set scene at all, Lemmy of Motorhead?
We were not mods.
No, you weren't, but did you ever see the Creation at all?
What did you think of them?
They were great.
Because Kenny Pickett just died of the Creation.
Yeah, he died quite a long time ago, didn't he?
About a year ago, I think.
No, about five years ago.
Oh, really, well are we thinking of the same guy here? His obituary was just listed.
The lead singer.
Yeah, he died on stage.
I didn't hear that.
What did you remember about seeing the Creation, or the Pretty things for that matter? Because Viv Prince, when he was in the Pretty Things, Lemmy of Motorhead, he got the Pretty Things banned in New Zealand. Did you ever do any drumming with Viv Prince? Did your band ever play with them?
Uh, one of the bands I was in played with the Pretty Things a long time ago, yeah. Viv Prince was like.... Do you know if he's dead or not?
No, he's still alive, I think.
What's he doing? Do you know?
I think he's involved in politics or something like that.
(laughs) Viv! (laughs)
Lemmy of Motorhead, did you ever hear John's Children at all?
Will you stop saying "Lemmy of Motorhead"?
Stop saying Lemmy of Motorhead.
Just Lemmy will do, you know.
Oh, okay. Lemmy Kilmeister?
"Kill-Mister." Rocking "Vigh-kurrs."
Vickers. Lemmy of Motorhead, Lemmy, Lemmy. So, Lemmy, did you ever seen John's Children at all? John's Children, John's Children with Marc Bolin.
I never saw them play. I used to have their records.
Because they were really an Op Art-garage-mod type band. They were amazing. Who do you think was the best from that era? I'm just asking, Lemmy, because I know you know a lot of those things from your Motorhead years and stuff. Do you think John's Children and the Creation- who do you think was the best from that Op Art scene? Excluding the Who because everybody loves the Who. John's Children, the Creation.... was there a band that you thought was really good when you saw them?
Both of them I thought were great. John's Children were great. The Creation were great. The Faultless One were great The original Birds were great.
With Ron Wood.
Lemmy, the Motorhead sound is very unique, especially on your new LP, Overnight Sensation. It's like, you know, you guys are the fastest ass-kicking band ever! Motorhead, the fastest ass-kicking band ever! What do attribute your unique vocal style? You sing up into the mic. Why do you put the mic up that way? You know, like when you're singing, you're kind of lifting your head and the mic is pointing down. Does that help with the vocals? Like, for youngsters listening to Lemmy of Motorhead, is that a hint to being able to sing really cool, having down? Why do you sing with the mic up, Lemmy?
It's just a personal thing. Also, I don't have to look at the audience. (laughs)
I tried doing that and it helps get the "Aaaaaaarrrrgh." You know, don't you think it kind of helps you sing the nice gritty delivery that Motorhead has?
It's just the way I sing, you know. It's just a personal preference. I find it easier that way, you know.
Lemmy, what's your favourite tank battle?
The Battle of Kursk, yeah, why, like, because tank battles are real heavy metal, aren't they? They're total motor shows.
That they are.
Total motor shows! What's the difference, would you say, between the Battle of Kursk and, say, the Six Day War battle? What do you think is the difference, because that was a big Six Day War tank battle. The Battle of kursk. What do you think made the Battle of kursk different from that?
Well, they were fighting for bigger issues.
But how about the actual fighting? The fighting was still - the tanks were kind of wild going together, weren't they?
Oh, yeah, you shouldn't trivialize something like that. Hundreds of thousands of men died, you know. You shouldn't trivialize that.
But I mean in the sense of a real tank battle, the military thing, you'd say the Battle of kursk is the number one tank battle, Lemmy.
It's not really. I don't have favourites; I don't think that word describes it. I think most impressive is the word.
Have you ever purchased any Nazi memorabilia in the former Soviet Union? Because the Soviet Union, after the fall of Germany, took a lot of Nazi memorabilia. Have you ever purchased any of that from the former Soviet Union?
I saw it in a museum.
Did you ever go pranking at all with Vivian Stanchall or Keith Moon?
What adventure did you go on with them?
Uh, it's a long story, but, um-
Just briefly. We're dying to know, Lemmy of the band Motorhead.
They were great fun, you know. Keith and Viv were great fun. They didn't have a lot of fun themselves but it was great fun being with them. They were like two people. They were nutcases basically but they were great characters, you know, which I think rock n' roll could use more of.
Do you remember at all what you did, or just one little incident? Did you try on trousers or anything like that?
No. What a strange thing to say.
No, I just mentioned that because apparently Keith Moon would go and he and Vivian would try trousers on and one of them would have a wooden leg and it would scare the clerk of the actual store.
Well, I remember them dressing up as Himmler and Hitler and going up to the Jewish area of London. As a puppet act, a ventriloquist act, Keith would sit on Vivian's knee - Vivian dressed as Himmler and Keith as Hitler - and do a ventriloquist act. It was pretty funny but then again one's sense of humour nowadays has changed. People don't think funny things are funny anymore. It's not politically correct, you know.
Lemmy of the Motorhead, have you seen Fast Eddie recently?
Did he really quit the band because you did a duet with Wendy O. Williams of the Plastmatics?
That's why he quit?
That was the reason. He had been quitting every day for two years before that.
Because it seems kind of odd. Wendy O. Williams. He should have been honoured that Lemmy got to meet Wendy O. Williams. Wouldn't Fast Eddie want to meet Wendy O. Willams? Why would he want to quit the band at that point?
He didn't like her.
Why was that?
Uh, you know, it's all very - you can't just tell people how things were because you had to be there, really. And, uh, we were coming to a crisis in the band and Eddie just used that as an excuse to leave, you know.
Lemmy of Motorhead-
Would you stop saying that please?
Okay, Lemmy. Lemmy, when did you first meet Ron Jeremy?
Yeah, how did you meet him? How did you get into porn, because you're in his "Freak of the Week" rap video? You were there with Ron Jeremy going, "Freak of the Week"-
I know. I know. I know, I was there, yeah. How did I meet him? He hangs out at the Rainbow.
What did you think of him when you saw him?
I thought, oh, he had a big dick. What do you think of people like that?
Did he look like a hedgehog to you?
Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy. Because he mentioned that you were in the original Bobbitt movie. Not Frankenpenis but the original Bobbitt movie had Lemmy from Motorhead in it, the original one.
What were your lines in that movie? Do you remember?
Yeah, but that wasn't very important. It was just a cameo appearance, you know.
Well, that is pretty prestigious to be in a movie with John Wayne Bobbitt. You think so?
Yeah! (laughs) I doubt you would think so if you were there!
Well Ron Jeremy seems to be very proud of it. He's mentioned it many times that Lemmy from the band Motorhead was in the Bobbitt movie. What was the name of the movie? Was it John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut, Lemmy, that you were in?
What were you doing? Were you doing overdubs? Were you on the actual set?
I was in the movie, yeah.
Did you partake in any touching at all?
Just a cameo.
Lemmy, what was it like working with Samantha Fox? There was a picture with you two together in Penthouse many years ago when you were doing a duet in the studio.
That never happened. We never actually did it. We were going to do it but we never did it.
She was the original Spice Girl, wasn't she? Eh? She was the original Spice Girl.
I thought the original Spice Girls were the original Spice Girls.
Well Samantha Fox-
She was the original Samantha Fox. (laughs)
What were the circumstances surrounding that? Were you just going to go record a song? I was looking through pages of Penthouse that were stuck together, I opened it up and saw a page with Lemmy and Samantha Fox. What was the song going to be?
Lemmy, do you have any new XXX features? Are you doing any more porn at all? With Ron Jeremy-
No, it was just a fling.
What about the movie Tromeo and Juliet? Isn't that a new movie that you're in, Lemmy?
Uh, it's the opening speech in that.
What is that about? A lot of fans in Canada really want to go check that out because there is a Canadian connection. One of the girls from the movie is actually from Vancouver.
It's all blood and guts, gouging and sewing and sexual perversion. It's a very good film. You should go see it.
What did you think of your appearance in the The Decline of Western Civilization, Lemmy? Have you talked to Penelope Spheeris lately? What did you think of The Decline of Western Civilization? Motorhead were featured quite prominently in there.
I thought it was all right, you know. It was just a documentary with damaged kids really. I didn't think it was that good. It was just that everybody else was so bad that I looked good in it, you know.
If there are any girls or guys who want to get backstage at a Motorhead show, are there any hints at all, things that they should bring you, garter belts they should wear, any hints?
Guys should bring their sister. Girls get backstage free. We don't like guys backstage. We have enough guys. (laughs)
What was it like playing with the Damned? You played with the Damned at one time.
Just one gig, yeah.
Were you called the Doomed at that time?
That's right. You've done your homework. I like that. That's very good.
Did you replace Brian James?
No. Captain was on guitar and I played bass.
You also recorded "Ballroom Blitz" with the Damned.
It seemed really great that the Damned were really open, and you, being an established punker, having been in Hawkwind and psychedelic bands and stuff, and Phil Lynot, he jammed with a lot of the punks too. It was great that Motorhead and the Damned got together to do stuff. What was it like playing? What did the audience think? Were they happy to see you up there? Was there any animosity, because you guys weren't totally total punk but you weren't metal. You were just Motorhead, kick-ass rock n' roll. What did people think when you played with the Damned? "Hey, this might be something big. We're onto something here."
No, it was accepted. It was a good show. We had a lot of fun.
And finally, Lemmy of the band Motorhead, who do you think has better hearing, you or Pete Townsend.
And you have more hair too!
So you win in the end!
Uh, I don't think it's a contest. (laughs)
Lemmy, do you have anything else you would like to add to the people out there? Any other shouts out-
I'd like to say that I'm really sorry we're not coming. We'll try and come up soon. We don't play Vancouver much. I don't know why we don't play Vancouver. I think the Canadian promoters don't think we're a viable proposition, you know, but we will be back. I'm sorry that it wasn't this time. Next time, okay?
And why should people care about Motorhead? Why should people care-
Why shouldn't they? What do they have that's better?
No. It was all WASP's fault, isn't it, Lemmy? Come on, whisper it. "It was all WASP's fault."
It wasn't WASP. It was Blackie.
Blackie. Blackie Lawless. Well, thanks very much Lemmy. I really appreciate your time. Keep on rocking in the free world. And doot doola doot doo...
Evidently. If not sooner.
Lemmy of the band Motorhead.
If not sooner. (laughs)
Lemmy, you said you had better hearing than Pete Townsend. Doot doola doot doo...
That's not a question of better hearing. It's a question of responding to your one-liners.
Oh, please, Lemmy of Motorhead. Please. Doot doola doot doo...
Doot doola doot doo...
Are you going to stop doing that any time soon?
Won't you do just a little grunt for us, Lemmy of Motorhead?
A little handclap maybe?
(claps) How's that?
That's great! Usually we wait for two handclaps but one handclap from Motorhead is good enough!