INTERVIEW WITH LEMMY KILMISTER
INTERVIEW BY ROBIN FLEMING
PHOTOS BY KERRI BORSUK
INTRODUCTION BY ROBIN FLEMING
When I got the chance to speak to Lemmy from Motorhead, I immediately bought some red leather lace-up pants and set off for The Palace in Hollywood. When I got there, I watched sound check and got nervous just looking at the huge banner behind Mickey Dee on the drum riser. I went down to the dressing room where Lemmy and his girlfriend were waiting. He had a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and a pack of Marlboro’s in the other. He was wearing his trademark white leather boots, which I kissed. He’s kind and terrifying; he’s rock personified. He’s Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead.
What’s it like to be a ‘rock icon’?
Oh yeah, right, all that shit. I’d rather be a competitor, because icons are over. By the very nature of an icon, it’s dead. I don’t want to be dead. I ain’t dead. I’m alive, deal with it.
“I thought The Damned were more punk than The Pistols. The Pistols were like a vacation band. Steve was a failed burglar. Rotten was that kid that you wouldn’t let your kids play with. Sid was just a mess, Sid was doomed from the beginning. Cookie just wanted to play, like Ringo, but he was a good drummer. But The Damned were like loonies. Dave used to walk around in that vampire outfit, with his wife dressed in what looked like cobwebs. I remember him standing with the silver-topped cane, three-piece velvet suit with the purple inside the cloak, the patent leather pumps, and the hair with the streak in it, with women falling about. And I said ‘Don’t move Dave. I just want to remember this.”
On the new record you cover the Sex Pistol’s ‘God Save The Queen’.
I wanted to do ‘Neat, Neat, Neat’ by The Damned. Maybe on the next record. I’ve always loved that song. I played one gig with The Damned, as The Doomed. We did eleven of their songs and one of mine, and they messed my one up. I was really pissed off. But I thought The Damned were more punk than The Pistols. The Pistols were like a vacation band. Steve was a failed burglar. Rotten was that kid that you wouldn’t let your kids play with. Sid was just a mess, Sid was doomed from the beginning. Cookie just wanted to play, like Ringo, but he was a good drummer. But The Damned were like loonies. Dave used to walk around in that vampire outfit, with his wife dressed in what looked like cobwebs. I remember him standing with the silver-topped cane, three-piece velvet suit with the purple inside the cloak, the patent leather pumps, and the hair with the streak in it, with women falling about. And I said ‘Don’t move Dave. I just want to remember this.’
How long have you been touring?
Thirty-four years, including the band before Motorhead.
What’s it like now?
Well, the buses are better. The old buses, you had to sleep sitting up in the seats. But, touring is completely different now, It’s gone right up its own asshole in this country. It’s kind of like a military operation and there’s no fun anymore. We was on the Ozzfest and it was like being backstage at Auschwitz. Backstage, all there was, was a hundred band members and the staff, with their little golf carts. Where’s the chicks and the drugs? What’s going on?! This is rock and roll, not the Elks Convention. I bet the Elks have more fun.
What was it like when it was fun?
The biggest heyday was back in the ’60s. I was in this band in the north of England and we didn’t have hit records, but you didn’t need ’em. We were making, in those days, quite a lot of money. We had this big house we lived in and three Jaguars and a speed boat on Lake Windomere. We used to go water skiing. That was the heyday if you ask me. It’s all gone slowly downhill from then on. Apart from the acid thing, that was fun for a bit. But a lot of people didn’t come back from the basket-weaving motel. People sticking straws in their hair, ‘Oh I feel better now.’
Where’s home for you now?
I’ve lived here, in Hollywood, for the past ten years.
What was it like recording the new record?
It was really odd, actually. We did all the backing tracks in Germany, during the summer. In between the festival tours, we’d have all the gear shipped back and record for the weekend and then go back out for the next one. It really didn’t work. The master plan was a complete fuck-up, as usual, you know… Motorhead. We did the rest of the overdubs back in America. It worked out pretty well in the end. It didn’t take that long, but it was over a long period of time.
What was it like to have Wendy O. Williams suck your dick?
It was pretty good, actually. But she was more into throwing me around the room, ‘cuz she was one of these exercise freaks, right? She didn’t take drugs, she didn’t smoke dope, and she didn’t drink, she was a boring date. She’d ring me up in New York and say “Lemmy, watcha doin’ right now?” and I’d say “Nothing.” And she’d say ”Can I come over there and jump you?” When she jumped you, you stayed fucking jumped! Rest In Peace. The way she went was horrible, went out in the forest, fed the squirrels and blew her fucking head off. I was just about to start talking to her again, ‘cause I did this interview with this kid who said that he lived near her in Connecticut, in the forest. I mean what the fuck was she doin’ there, anyway?!
I was told that you collect SS memorabilia?
I’m a history buff, ask her (referring to his girlfriend). I’ve made her watch hours of the History Channel. I mean, if I’ve got a black girlfriend, I ain’t a Nazi, am I?
Where do you get your inspiration?
Sex, injustice and death. That seems to cover most of it. There’s no shortage of injustice.
After seeing your lady, I see that you enjoy the perks.
That’s what people in bands are supposed to do. I don’t understand when people take the family and dog on tour with them. I mean, that’s what you go home to, that’s the point. Get out from under their fucking feet, maybe the marriage will last a little longer. You go on tour with them and the marriage will be over in two fucking weeks.
Is it true that you slept with a man?
It was a sex change. By the time I found it, it was a woman. I mean, if it looks like a woman, talks like a woman, walks like a woman and has tits like a woman, then it’s a woman, right? I mean if he’s got the guts to have his dick and his balls cut off, then I’ve got the guts to fuck him, don’t I?!
What would you say are the defining Motorhead slogans?
I always wanted my epitaph to read “He enjoyed himself. Thank you very much”. But I think “No Remorse” is a good one.