Apparently I am still indestructible
August 14, 2015 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Lemmy is as much a collection of myths and legends as a man. In the popular imagination, he’s made up of equal parts Jack Daniel’s, amphetamine sulphate, Nazi memorabilia and extreme-velocity noise.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (47 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well that settles watching Hardware tonight then.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on August 14, 2015


Who would win in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God?


Trick question, Lemmy is God
posted by dogwalker at 12:03 PM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Lemmy walks among us as a man

*cranks 'Iron Fist'*
posted by jonmc at 12:16 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Warning: posting from the chatres Room in the French quarter on an old charter run. Shit may get fun.
posted by jonmc at 12:23 PM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Playing in L.A. next weekend. I am so there.

(Also, I love when he confuses Bad Company and Bad Religion.)
posted by mykescipark at 12:27 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


he’s made up of equal parts Jack Daniel’s, amphetamine sulphate, Nazi memorabilia and extreme-velocity noise

...and warts. Don't forget warts.
posted by rocket88 at 12:34 PM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


A shadow of the one true Lemmy.
posted by The Bellman at 12:48 PM on August 14, 2015


Hi!!

I don't really know who Lemmy is. I mean, I know of him. I just haven't really read about him or listened to any of his albums. Maybe there's a better place to get a primer? Because this article makes him sound like a misogynistic Nazi sympathizer? Which would be a weird stance for a lover of Little Richard to take, I'll grant you. So -- why is he a legend? What am I missing here?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:50 PM on August 14, 2015




Also STILL the greatest thing on the internet.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:54 PM on August 14, 2015 [9 favorites]


I never really got all that into metal, but having been into Zeppelin and Sabbath as a lad I gave it a try. It makes me unreasonably happy to see a bunch of these aging rock dudes keep the fire lit.

Ace of Spades is on the short list of "Welp, my ride is on fire, and all of the windows are broken. Time to drive the wheels off." great driving songs. Can't Turn You Loose, Firestarter et al.
posted by Sphinx at 1:31 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just haven't really read about him or listened to any of his albums.

Try the classics Ace of Spades or No Sleep ’til Hammersmith.

So -- why is he a legend? What am I missing here?

I'm not sure what answer you're looking for here. He's an awesome rock star famous for his hard living lifestyle. Being a legend isn't synonymous with being a good person, though I will say that I don't think he's a Nazi sympathizer, he just likes collecting Nazi memorabilia.

He's kind of the epitome of a what a certain kind of rock feels like it should be.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:32 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


@When The Head Cat came to town, I got me some tickets cause I saw motorhead live a couple times and it was quite the show.

While it was an altogether different affair, one thing was apparent, Lemmy revered those early rockers. He named Chuck Berry as an influence, grumped about how nobody knew the b sides from that era, then proceeded to play a few of those b sides. Is he racist? Maybe I'm turning a blind eye because I am a fan of his work, but judging by what I've seen him say and do I'd put him in the category of 'not really'.

Lemmy likes the way Nazi stuff looks, he's a slut, a mean bass player, an intense lover of early rock and roll, and nearly pickled in alcohol.

Also according to David Grohl, an absolute pro in the studio.
posted by The Power Nap at 1:32 PM on August 14, 2015


Huh, sadly, he sounds rather destructible in that article. I had no idea he had heart surgery. Well, just like anyone else his age, except with decades of having been indestructible behind him.
posted by ignignokt at 1:34 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks. I'm just wondering if there is a longer, deeper, more definitive profile out there. The "it's cool -- he just likes the way Nazi stuff looks, but he's not really a Nazi!" is just not something that you can say with a straight face about most folks. So there must be something more here. Wondering where I can find it, is all.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:35 PM on August 14, 2015


Well, I'm not an expert on him or anything, I just don't think I've ever read anything where he supports the ideals or politics of the Nazis. Here's the Wiki section on his collecting habits, and The Power Nap links to an article about it above.

A lot of people have noted the Nazis had great style and certainly have a distinctive look. It seems like he just likes that style. I've known people who bought Luger pistols and Nazi-era military long coats because they liked the look but certainly didn't endorse the politics. I also know people who collect Soviet and Mao-era Chinese propaganda posters but don't support either regime.

Maybe he does agree with them, I don't know, I just feel like if he did we'd have heard about it by now.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:41 PM on August 14, 2015


The popular perception of Lemmy is that he's a lovable reprobate. He may not be a paragon of right-on values but neither is he known for being actually ideologically hateful or for treating women badly or anything.
posted by anazgnos at 2:02 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't really know who Lemmy is. I mean, I know of him. I just haven't really read about him or listened to any of his albums. Maybe there's a better place to get a primer? Because this article makes him sound like a misogynistic Nazi sympathizer? Which would be a weird stance for a lover of Little Richard to take, I'll grant you. So -- why is he a legend? What am I missing here?

Well to start out his band is pretty great. But he's a legend because he's the template of the grizzled, uncompromising rock lifer. He's a legend because the very idea that there is a man who has lived on Jack and Coke and speed and cigarettes for five decades still out there, still playing louder and faster than everyone else, says that people can be indestructible, you probably are too.

As far as attitude toward women - I mean he's a 70-year-old biker-rock-star what do you expect? As far as attitude toward Nazis - I dunno you never met one of those guys (it's usually a guy) who's obsessed with Nazis like they are the scariest, evilest horror villains who just happen to have actually existed? I find this somewhat distasteful - especially when you get to the point of memorabilia collection and such - if not an outright red flag in a person but it's a distinct phenomenon from actual neo-Nazism or anything like that. There are a number of people in hard rock/metal with a fixation on Third Reich imagery.
posted by atoxyl at 2:03 PM on August 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Motörhead: Live Fast Die Old
Motörhead: the Guts and the Glory
You'll also be wanting:
Lemmy - 49% Motherf*cker, 51% Son of a B*tch - There's a version on youtube but it's dubbed over in German
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:08 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lemmy was born in 1945 and his father was in the RAF (though I think he mostly grew up with a stepdad). I don't know if his "just missed it" relationship to the war has anything to do with his interest in it. One could actually make pretty badass rock from a WWII British nationalist perspective - I suppose Iron Maiden does a little bit - though this could also play as racist these days.
posted by atoxyl at 2:13 PM on August 14, 2015


'The war' was a ridiculously massive thing in British culture all the way up into the 80s at least... as a little kid I read war comics every week (there was something like half a dozen weeklies at one point), made Airfix models of panzers and spitfires and there was a World War II film on the telly nearly every second weekend (alternating with a Western) plus dramas and hugely popular sit-coms like Dad's Army, Aint' Half Hot Mum! and 'Allo 'Allo. and documentaries like The World At War, The Royal Tournament and Remembrance ceremony every year. It was pretty impossible to avoid and I can easily see someone really getting into it, even with 'the baddies' especially if you were a naturally rebellious sort.

Lemmy always comes over as pretty inteligent with a very dry sense of humour. especially about himself. In one of those docs he's seen dying his hair and reading Bertie Wooster (not at the same time) I'm farily sure he's not an actual nazi
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:32 PM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Quite possibly, so, but for the second time in 6 weeks I will refer Metafilter to Ken Hite's indubitably true pronouncement: "Cats and items of Nazi memorabilia; more than two and people are going to talk."
posted by howfar at 2:54 PM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


First time I saw Motörhead was on the Young Ones, which played on MTV very late Sunday nights in the mid-80s. I was living in the cultural wasteland that was the Chicago burbs, and the Young Ones was a revelation to me. So the musical act was Motörhead, and I watched it, and I felt like the dude in that 80s Memorex commercial sitting in front of the stereo. It was so powerful it was almost funny to me then. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'd heard some of the metal that Motörhead inspired by then. But wow, I've not forgotten that moment.
posted by persona au gratin at 4:23 PM on August 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm astonished that I saw Motörhead over thirty years ago.

I'm even more astonished that Apple's spelling corrector added the umlaut in Motörhead all on its own. Respect to somebody.

Like Michael Moorcock and Hawkwind (which the spell check doesn't recognise). Lemmy came out of the counterculture scene in Notting Hill in the early 70s, which was a frenzied melange of dirt, patchouli, cannabis and bad speed. It was more like the Wild West than anything hippyish we might be used to. Like Iggy Pop, one of Lemmy's main achievements is not being dead.
posted by Grangousier at 4:42 PM on August 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Being awesome is perpendicular to being a good person. They can intersect, or not. Lemmy is awesome. Listen to the song On Parole a few times and see what that does.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:19 PM on August 14, 2015


You might like Motörhead if: you have ever wondered if you are a monster
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:27 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Since the Lemmy is God reference has been made:

First time I saw Motörhead was on the Young Ones,

Compressorhead - Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades - CNN remix since it needed moar techno.

The first time ever I saw Lemmy's face.

People, especially young people who weren't around in the 1970s forget the whole Nazi thing was meant to shock, by punks, bikers and bands like Death In June. We have 40 years on that of people saying what indescribable evil they were, and how anyone who adopts their symbolism is the worst (for reasons), but ... Lemmy is no nazi.

And the Nazis did have an amazing eye for design, which pretty much everyone would agree to without the baggage. I mean, they had an evil architectural style, and developed propaganda.

Nazis would have rocked Twitter.
posted by Mezentian at 5:58 PM on August 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that's the clip. It's still awesome 30 years later.
posted by persona au gratin at 6:36 PM on August 14, 2015


Lemmy actually addressed the Nazi memorabilia thing in his book. The excerpt:

"Another thing people don't understand is my collection of Nazi memorabilia, which really kicked in when I moved here. World War II artifacts have been around ever since I can remember - after all, I was born the year the war ended, and people were always bringing home souvenirs and shit. I had one dagger when I came over here, and two medals, maybe a flag and an iron cross, and that was all. And like with any hobby, the more you get into it the more interesting it gets, if it has any depth to it. So now I have a huge collection of stuff from wartime Germany - daggers, medals, flags, you name it. I like having all this stuff around because it's a reminder of what happened, and that it's in the past (for the most part - Nazism still exists, but at the margins). I don't understand people who believe that if you ignore something, it'll go away. That's completely wrong - if it's ignored, it gathers strength. Europe ignored Hitler for twenty years. We could have beaten him in 1936: the French army could have chased him out of the Rhineland and he would have been done. His people would have been toppled from power. But the French ran away - again - and let him in. As a result, he slaughtered a quarter of the world! And he was a non-smoker, non-drinker, vegetarian, smart suit, short hair, well turned-out. Would have been served in any restaurant in America, unlike Jesse Owens, the hero of the 1936 Olympics."

The whole book is awesome.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 9:05 PM on August 14, 2015 [6 favorites]


I once asked an estate agent what were the things most likely to stop your house from selling, and he said 'you'd be amazed how many people have Nazi memorabilia everywhere.'
posted by colie at 12:53 AM on August 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is Lemmy chatting to Steve Jones on Steves old LA radio show on Indie 103.1
From March 31 2005. Interview starts about 1hr 36 minutes
LINK
posted by stuartmm at 1:14 AM on August 15, 2015


'you'd be amazed how many people have Nazi memorabilia everywhere.'

And how cheap* it is.
Seriously.

(*Offer void in France).
posted by Mezentian at 1:40 AM on August 15, 2015


'you'd be amazed how many people have Nazi memorabilia everywhere.'

I've got a namesake collector in the US... it's fun to get emails miss-sent to you like 'congratulations you have won the auction on this Stormtrooper Helmet' 'About that rare book on the SS you wanted'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:07 AM on August 15, 2015 [1 favorite]




Motorhead & Girlschool - Please Don't Touch

So.
Much.
Hair.
posted by Mezentian at 3:08 AM on August 15, 2015


My favorite Lemmy story: Motorhead is on tour, playing Dresden. Coming out of the set back drop is a replica of WWII Lancaster bomber. During some stage patter, Lemmy points to the bomber and says 'Been a long time since you seen one of these, eh?"
posted by KingEdRa at 6:36 AM on August 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


'Been a long time since you seen one of these, eh?"

It's funny, and yet less funny and yet....
posted by Mezentian at 8:02 AM on August 15, 2015


Too soon.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:31 AM on August 15, 2015


I styled my facial hair in homage to Lemmy for a rock n roll evening three years ago... And it's stuck with me ever since.

The only trouble is that some people think I look more like Terry Richardson than Lemmy.
posted by ZipRibbons at 8:47 AM on August 15, 2015


According to Danny Baker, the actual song 'Motörhead' was the only pop/rock/whatever song with the word 'parallelogram' in it. So there's that.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:00 AM on August 16, 2015


The only trouble is that some people think I look more like Terry Richardson than Lemmy.

Sorry dude, it's the glasses.
posted by atoxyl at 3:53 PM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you want to be Lemmy you need mirror shades.
posted by Grangousier at 5:25 PM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]




'murder' is more than a bit click-baity but it's a okay interview
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:42 AM on August 17, 2015






And another gig is cut short... Lemmy looks horrendous in the video, I wish he'd just he'd just cancel the tour and take a rest.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:38 AM on September 3, 2015


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