Thursday, December 24, 2015

Motörhead Honcho

Seventy is a big one. Sometimes I feel that 70 is the benchmark, and if you make it through seven decades, you are a survivor who has seen most of it if not all.
Today is that day for someone who, if you asked me 30 years ago if he would make it, I'd have said he'd be lucky to see 47. It might be closer to the truth to say that it might be time for us to start thinking about what kind of world we're going to leave behind for Lemmy.
Ian Kilmister began in music in England in the mid Sixties, as a roadie and equipment man for some American guitar slinger named Hendrix. When Jimi left the building at age 27 in 1970, Lemmy joined UK tripsters Hawkwind on bass, and sang their first and biggest hit, Silver Machine. Their other big song from that time was a little number called Motörhead.
He quit Hawkwind in 1974 and formed another band, with the idea that he wanted to have the fastest rock-n-roll band ever to play. To say that Motörhead -- which is still touring after 40 years on the boards -- has had a monumental influence over music in general (and especially the various strains of Heavy Metal) would be a vast. vast understatement.
Fast forward to 2015 and here he is, still doing it louder, faster and more viciously than guys and gals a third of his age and less. Health issues forced him off the road earlier this year, but good luck keeping Lemmy down... he was back out on tour within weeks. He will likely keep right on playing after he dies.
He is revered as a (perhaps the) Rock icon by tens of millions of people the world over, and it's hard to argue that his station is not deserved. In a way he is the ultimate survivor, and his ascent to septuagenarian status today merely solidifies that.
To mark his 70th birthday I will share what else? but a big old birthday party. When Motörhead turned 10 in 1985, they had a big shindig to celebrate at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, featuring all kinds of guests and special visitors sitting in. This was filmed and released on laserdisc in the early '90s, but somehow has never made it to an official DVD issue in all the years since. Today I bring you a delicious, pristine transfer of that laserdisc on a region-free DVD that came out unofficially (and only in Brazil) about 10 years ago.
The Birthday Party
Hammersmith Odeon
London, UK

01 Iron Fist
02 Stay Clean
03 The Hammer
04 Metropolis
05 Mean Machine
06 On The Road
07 Killed By Death
08 Ace Of Spades
09 Steal Your Face
10 Nothing Up My Sleeve
11 We Are the Road Crew
12 Bite the Bullett
13 The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
14 No Class
15 Overkill
16 Bomber/Drum Solo
17 Motörhead
18 Orgasmatron

Total time: 59:40

Lemmy Kilmister- bass guitar, vocals
Phil Campbell - guitar
Würzel - guitar
Pete Gill - drums
"Fast" Eddie Clarke - guitar
Brian "Robbo" Robertson - guitar
Larry Wallis - guitar
Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor - drums
Lucas Fox - drums
Phil Lynott - bass guitar on Track 17
Wendy O. Williams - vocals on Track 14

all-regions semi-official Brazilian DVD, likely from the 1990 Laserdisc
Yes, this is as wild a show as it looks like from reading the info, so pull it down and get your Yule Log burning like a filterless Camel tonight as we swing into the Holidays. Obviously I wish you and yours the very best tidings, as well as the most thrashingest big day to Mr. Kilmister, who was born on Christmas Eve in 1945 and has been helping demolish the eardrums of Earth ever since!--J.