R.I.P. Lemmy

Lemmy

Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister

24.12.1945 – 28.12.2015

A huge part of growing up is buying your first Motorhead album.  For me it was the compilation album “No Remorse”, which I wanted because it had “Ace of Spades” and “Killed By Death” on it.  With that purchase, I took a step into a bigger world.  Motorhead were a gang, not just a band – and with buying that record I was subscribing to a whole new way of life.

The first time I encountered the rabid monster that was Motorhead was when they performed the legendary “Ace of Spades” on the Young Ones episode “Bambi”.  Lemmy was there front and centre, a living icon in mirror shades, mutton chop whiskers, and thunderous bass guitar; bellowing into a mic that was stretched to the ceiling.

Motorhead’s music was a raucous, fast burst of adrenaline and I played that album every Monday morning before school.  It was the best way to get into the zone and face the start of the week.  Total take no prisoners, take on the world music.  Of course, real life wasn’t so harsh, but Motorhead made you feel like you could do anything.

Lemmy himself was always the uncompromising rock’n’roll figurehead.  His gruff demeanour and his reputation for fast living only cemented his status.  And Motorhead were always cool.  When I developed a taste for punk rock, Motorhead were still cool.  Lemmy and Motorhead straddled the otherwise impossible crevasse between punk and metal.  He had roots going back to early rock’n’roll and the classics of the 60’s with the Beatles and Hendrix.  Lemmy was part of rock’s DNA.

Over the years I collected their albums, bought the t-shirt and Lemmy’s autobiography, and saw them live.  I even met the guy once.  One day I’ll write up the story of that night, which I was always going to call “The Greatest Night Out of My Life”.  Suffice to say that I met Lemmy in a strip club in Liverpool after a Motorhead gig, totally by chance.  I hung out with him all night.  He was extremely gracious and funny.  He was tolerant of drunk fans because he knew how much the music meant to us.

As much a gentleman as a warrior, the world has lost a real original with the passing of Lemmy Kilmister.  He was a pioneer, an innovator.  We knew he’d go one day, but it’s still unbelievable.  I’ll miss Motorhead.  Raise a glass to the great man and yell:

“You know I’m born to lose, and gambling’s for fools, but that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t wanna live forever!”

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night #5

Bring Your Own Vinyl Night

Queen’s Head, Mold

Friday 4th December 2015

Unlike the last event, I didn’t have a theme for Bring Your Own Vinyl Night this time around.  Just some tunes I fancied playing.  I hadn’t even decided exactly what they would be till the show was on.

For anyone still uninitiated, the night is hosted in the Queen’s Head pub in Mold, North Wales.  There are two turntables and each participant gets to play 15 minutes of whatever music they want, vinyl only.

I had myself a couple of beers and rattled out this selection:

Motorhead – Ace of Spades

When you buy your first Motorhead album, you know you’ve entered the world of grown up music.  Big, nasty unapologetic rocking grown up music.  A song that never gets old, I was introduced to “Ace of Spades” when the band performed it on the classic “University Challenge” episode of The Young Ones.  It’s just a non-stop, joyous racket that simply will not stop or slow down for anyone.  Absolute perfection.  I played this in memory of drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, who sadly passed away recently.

The Vapors – Turning Japanese

A New Wave/Punk Rock classic, I was donated the brilliant “Turning Japanese” by a friend.  Thank you, Simon.  It was supposed to be part of a tribute set that I’m still working on.  It was going to be hard to follow up the adrenaline rush of the previous song, The Vapors pulled it off here though.  A great power pop song that kept the pace of the set nicely.

Dinosaur Jr. – Freak Scene

A slight fast forward to the late 1980’s for this next track.  The first track on Dinosaur Jr.’s album “Bug”, this track nicely covers the appeal of early American alternative rock.  Born out of punk and hardcore, with one foot in old Black Sabbath and one in jangly pop; Dinosaur Jr. constantly delight.  Reminds me of my skateboarding youth.

Beastie Boys – Sabotage

I couldn’t decide which track to play last, so I let the audience choose the album.  The Beastie Boys “Ill Communication” won hands down, and I chose “Sabotage” as the track to play.  Another unrelenting monster of a song, “Sabotage” has a funky groove delivered with a rocking style.  Again, a song I never tire of.  Plus the Spike Jonze video, with it’s 70’s cop show homage, is a work of genius.  It’s been over twenty years and I still want to dress up and play Sabotage Cops for a day.

My buddy Adam strode up to the decks next, and delivered another fine set.  It went something like this:

  • Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure
  • The Blasters – I’m Shakin’
  • Mark Ronson/Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat

Four top songs from Adam there, the Queen track was a load of fun and had me doing my world renowned Freddie Mercury impression.  It was nice to hear a modern song on vinyl too, with the Ronson/Mars number.

Great night, great songs – well done all on another fine evening’s entertainment.  I’m currently stumped what to play next time.  I’ll work on it.

The Halcyon Dreams blog is here, where you can find listed (very helpfully) all of the songs played on the night.

The Halcyon Dreams Facebook page is here.