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zepscoda

Motörhead

152 posts in this topic

Great interview from the Rock Hall's site. Lemmy speaks about the importance of Chuck Berry's music

Rock Hall: Do you remember the first time you heard Chuck Berry's music?

Lemmy Kilmister: It was on a jukebox where I lived in North Wales, which is pretty desolate, so we didn't get stuff like London did – there were no TV shows then with rock and roll on them, and there was no way to hear because the radio didn't play it. You had to tune into Radio Luxembourg, which was in Luxembourg, in Europe, so that was very dodgy with the reception. You'd often find that a song would come on and you didn't find out who played it until three weeks later – the fucking tuner would fade out. So, I first heard Berry on the jukebox, in the local cafe that we used to go to – I think it was "Sweet Little Sixteen," I'm not sure. Would've been 13-14.

RH: It must've made quite an impression on a teen living in North Wales, no?

Lemmy: There were only two things to be then: you were either in or out. You were either straight or rock and roll. Some songs just spoke to you and some didn't, and Berry's songs always did. We'd already heard Elvis and Little Richard and, I guess, Johnny Burnette –people like that filtered through. But [berry] was the first one who really told stories.

RH: Berry had a way with words, a sense of humor, a certain economy of language…

Lemmy: Berry always had humor even though he was going through shit in his life. That was about the same time he went to jail for that bullshit charge involving a minor, which you wouldn't have ever heard about if it were a white man. He always gave you all the details, even in the car songs, which were kind of state of the art – he'd give you all the makes of the cars, the things he was having done to them to make them fine. In just a few words, he'd lay it all out, and that was his great skill. He was the first one.

RH: Between Motörhead and your rockabilly outfit the Head Cat, you've covered a number of Berry tracks, including "Let It Rock." What about that track caught your ear?

Lemmy: It's just a good song. And the words are great about the railroad crew, gambling on the tracks and the train comin'. When that came out originally, it was the b-side, I think, of a song called "Go Go Go," which was like really forgettable. It was good in the very lyrical way, but it wasn't a very inspired tune. And then ["Let It Rock"] was on the b-side. It was hurried out when he was in jail – it came out just when he was being released. Then I went to see him in Manchester, I think it was, (or Birmingham) with the Moody Blues. He came over to Britain and toured as soon he'd been released, and he played it that night, so it was great. It's a great song.

RH: That was yet another Berry gift: great b-sides, including some of his more bluesy cuts, like "Wee Wee Hours" and "Deep Feeling"...

Lemmy: I had that [second] album of his, One Dozen Berrys [1958], and I thought every track on that was a standout, which is incredible, because the albums in those days had a lot of filler on them usually. There were a lot of bad b-sides in those days, and Chuck Berry was certainly no slouch in that direction.

RH: In Lemmy's guide to the galaxy, what does the entry for Chuck Berry read like?

Lemmy: Chuck Berry was a seminal figure in rock and roll, still playing at the age of 86. And a great lyricist and poet. And a great fighter for his rights.

RH: And where would rock and roll be without him?

Lemmy: Nowhere. It took a lot of people to make rock and roll, but he was one of the cornerstones.

RH: Where's rock and roll headed?

Lemmy: I don't understand these people in plaid shirts looking at their shoes. If you're gonna be a fucking rock star, go be one. People don't want to see the guy next door on the stage, they want to see a being from another planet. You want to see somebody you'd never meet in ordinary life, for a start. You want to see a being from somewhere else, who comes to your planet, fucks you up and goes away again. That's the idea with rock and roll. It should be amazing from start to finish and not ordinary.

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Great interview with Lemmy. Thanks for sharing, zepscoda.

Elvis was great and historically and culturally important...BUT Chuck Berry will always be the "King of Rock and Roll" to me.

Motorhead was a great little band, too. LOUD as fuck, too. One of the top 5 or 10 loudest bands I've ever seen.

Edited by Strider

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RH: Where's rock and roll headed?

Lemmy: I don't understand these people in plaid shirts looking at their shoes. If you're gonna be a fucking rock star, go be one. People don't want to see the guy next door on the stage, they want to see a being from another planet. You want to see somebody you'd never meet in ordinary life, for a start. You want to see a being from somewhere else, who comes to your planet, fucks you up and goes away again. That's the idea with rock and roll. It should be amazing from start to finish and not ordinary

So true....

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I saw that documentary about Lemmy. The man is hardcore Rock n' Roll to the f*cking limits

And I respect him because he has always been true to himself and to the fans. He never let the band get commercialised

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A bloke I used to work with (many years ago)used to be one of Motorheads roadies, he said he could tell me loads if stories about Lemmy, but he wouldn't. I can't remember his name it was when I worked for the Home Office.

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A bloke I used to work with (many years ago)used to be one of Motorheads roadies, he said he could tell me loads if stories about Lemmy, but he wouldn't. I can't remember his name it was when I worked for the Home Office.

I have great respect for that bloke of yours.

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I have great respect for that bloke of yours.

We tried everything just to get him to tell us just one little snippet, all he ever divulged was that "He liked a drink"

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I worked for him a couple of times - once I was asked to take his breakfast to his hotel for him - it was (literally) a bottle of JD and a black bin bag full of ice.

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We tried everything just to get him to tell us just one little snippet, all he ever divulged was that "He liked a drink"

That's an understatement...they oughtta rename the Rainbow Room the Lemmy Lair. :beer:

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Many years ago, Dave Brock told me that Stacia once came running up to him, saying that Lemmy had died.

They rushed into his room and found Lemmy laid out on top of the bed, flat on his back, arms pressed to his sides, teeth gritted and frozen absolutely rigid.

As they looked at him, fearing the worst, Lemmy's eyes snapped wide open and he went 'Don't snort it, Dave!'

Legend.

Edited by Brigante

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Saw Motorhead in Halifax a few years ago. I was busy watching the audience instead of the gig - it was amazing

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Lemmy's universal energy is riding the silver machine of the cosmos

 

Edited by Charles J. White

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Lemmy's universal energy is riding the silver machine of the cosmos

Well put, CJW.

Nothing but Lemmy touches the stereo today. Earth just got a lot quieter and the cosmos LOUDER.

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I'm an atheist, but honestly, I couldn't help but grin when I saw this :lol: At the risk of stepping on any toes, I will say this. If this God guy really does exist, then damn, he is one lucky bastard, having the 'new guy' for company, in 'heaven' B) 

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Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87

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I discovered Motörhead, all thanks to the classic British comedy show 'The Young Ones' B) 

To some, it maybe just a T.V show, but as far as I am concerned, Bambi was life-changing (to say the least!), not only because I discovered the magic of the comedic talents of Rik Mayall and Co., but also because I discovered the music of the loudest fuckin' band on earth!! :stereo:

Cheers to the two legends featured in this episode (who are sadly no longer with us) : Richard Michael "Rik" Mayall and Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister. I tip my hat to you, gentlemen! :notworthy: 

 

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87

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