I’ve never forgotten my teenage years, even though some parts are a bit blurry, but one day that really stands out was arriving at Windsor festival in 1973, pitching our tent, wandering off amazed at the people there and then finding Hawkwind playing on the main stage in the middle of a sunny afternoon. No lights, not a huge crowd, but a driving numbing, rumbling noise that I can still hear to this day. Hawkwind that afternoon were all over the place but driven by Lemmy’s bass, they played a blinding set and when I listen to their first albums, I can still see Lemmy looking cool in his black shades with a huge bass at the back of the stage.
Fast forward a few years and I’d just bought the 12’’ single of
Motorhead and City Kids and again, I’d never heard anything quite like it, I
must have played it hundreds of times (sorry flatmates). It was rock, metal and
punk all rolled into one with with lyrics that seems to justify all the gum
chewing weekends we had at the time. You couldn’t dance to it, but you could
sing along and boy we did!! And then watching the Young Ones in 1982 and seeing
Motorhead take over the show with Ace of Spades, Lemmy with the microphone set
too high and Philthy Animal drumming up a storm. It blew the rest of the show
out of the water.
Some years later, I read Lemmy’s Autobiography, White
Line Fever. The story that still makes me chuckle to this day is that he got
bored singing Ace of Spades so changed it to Eight of Spades for a couple of
years and no-one noticed. And that’s the great thing about Lemmy, he didn’t
need to embellish his life in any way, he just lived it to the full. And he
made it to seventy and that was that. There will never be another bass player
like him and looking at today’s pop stars, I doubt there will ever be a singer
who looks like him. RIP Lemmy, you made a teenage boy stare in wonderment and a
grown man weep today!
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