Riding the Storm with Lemmy

As I sat in the car this morning which was rocking from side to side with the parting blows of the night’s storm, I knew this was going to be a rough ride. I was going to need help in the form of the right travelling companion and there was only one man on my mind: Lemmy Kilmister.

So, off I go, barrelling down the hill, swerving around fresh pot-holes with the bass intro to Ace of Spades thundering through the speakers. As usual, it struck me how fresh this album sounds, even after 35 years. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the almost post-apocalyptic scene that’s unfolding before me as I near the bottom of the hill.

‘Love Me Like a Reptile!’ bawls Lemmy, as I turn on to the road I lovingly refer to as ‘The Gauntlet,’ at this time of year. It’s ten kilometres from here to the main road but the route winds like a snake through an area of forestry dotted with lakes and criss-crossed with streams that would be bloated from the torrential downpours of the night before. Coupled with the debris left in the wake of the gale-force winds, this would not make for a comfortable ride.

Click to find this album in our catalogue!
Click to find this album in our catalogue!

‘Here we go Lemmy!’ I utter aloud, trying not to let my voice betray the trepidation I was feeling in my gut.

‘Live To Win!’ he shouts back at me.

With that cue, I launch our Silver Machine (well, black Honda Civic) into the fray and as I expected, it’s a hairy ride. Around every corner awaits a new surprise: a felled tree, a pile of scree, a mini lake, or worst of all; a gaping chasm masquerading as an innocent puddle! But we rolled with the punches, Lemmy and I, and ignoring the knocks and bangs and tidal waves cascading over the windscreen, we eventually had our goal in sight – a slight incline which leads to the turn off for the main road – when we’re stopped in our tracks. There’s a dip in the road and it’s completely water-logged. There’s no way around it and the sheen on the surface suggests it’s menacingly deep.

‘What do I do Lemmy?’ I ask, audibly dismayed.

‘Bite The Bullet!’ he roars in response.

‘You’re the boss!’ I say and stomp on the accelerator.

White water is foaming on both sides and up over the bonnet as I hold the wheel in a death grip, while my right foot is in danger of breaking through the floor. Lemmy doesn’t seem too bothered though, as he reminds me that ‘The Chase Is Better than the Catch.’ My initial bravado is starting to fade however, as I feel the car stutter and stall beneath me. But Just as it begins to look like it’s all over, I feel it pick up pace and suddenly we’re through!

I pull the car over and get out to give it the once over. There are a few mud-splatters and scrapes and the front right hub-cap is hanging off but no real visible damage. I jump back in, ‘We made it Lemmy!’ I exclaim, relieved.

‘Believe Me, the Hammer’s Coming Down!’ he retorts.

‘Maybe,’ I say, ‘but not today.’

‘Thanks for your help Lemmy. I couldn’t have done it without you.’


Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister

24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015




Credit: Photo of Lemmy by Jonas Rogowski, courtesy of Wikipedia

6 thoughts on “Riding the Storm with Lemmy”

  1. Motorhead and Me
    by Eoin Jordan

    Thirty years ago this year I was rummaging through my Uncle’s music collection, when I came across a sew-on patch(they were all the rage at the time!). It was black with silver and red stitching. The main image was of a large Ace of Spades logo with a guy playing a Rickenbacker bass in the centre of it. His head was thrown back, and he had long hair, a mutton chop moustache, and had a pair of warts on his left cheek. He looked like a wild animal, I could only imagine what the music sounded like.Shortly after this I saw a picture of the same guy in a magazine with his arm draped around Samantha Fox, it looked like he was seriously up to no good. The magazine stated that his name was “Lemmy”.

    About a year later myself and Pete Lawlor were on a train going to Port Laoise, the school team were playing some other school, I have no idea why we went as we didn’t have the slightest bit of interest in the match. As was customary at the time, we both had Walkmans and about a half a dozen tapes each. He had a copy of the Motorhead compilation “No Remorse”, which I borrowed from him. I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I’d never heard Motorhead before. I put the tape on and waited for it to kick in. The opening bass line of “Ace of Spades” came thundering through my headphones, it was like nothing that I had ever heard before, I was instantly hooked. The other songs were great too, classics like “Overkill”, “Bomber”, “We Are The Road Crew”, “Killed by Death”, “Dancing On Your Grave”, but I couldn’t get the start of “Ace of Spades” out of my head. It was, and remains, one of the catchiest things that I have ever heard in my life, a bona fide classic. This was my introduction to Motorhead.

    The first Motorhead album that I bought was “Bomber”, I got it for the princely sum of £2.99 in Leeside Music about a month later, and I still have it. Over the years I picked up most of their albums, “Another Perfect Day”, “Ace of Spades”, “Overkill”, “Bastards” and “Overnight Sensation” being my personal favourites. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them live, my ears were ringing for days after it, still the loudest gig that I’ve ever been to. I’ve watched countless live gigs on video, DVD, and online. I’ve watched and listened to countless interviews. Lemmy’s outlook and attitude was always interesting to say the least. I particularly liked the idea of not being a leader or a follower, but not being afraid to stand alone, and stick up for what you believe in. His views on religion had a lot in common with my own, I wont go into that now, but to me he spoke a lot of sense on this subject.

    Last summer I watched televised footage of Motorhead’s performance at Glastonbury. He looked very frail, his hands were visibly shaking, but he carried on and did an admirable job for a man who was obviously very sick. Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee had his back that day, they watched him all through the gig, and helped to hold it all together. Any Motorhead fan will have been more than aware that Lemmy’s health hasn’t been the best for a few years now. Philty Animal Taylor’s death a month ago must have really knocked him back, losing such an old friend who played such a major part in his life.

    I was staying up in Wicklow for a few days just after Christmas. It was the morning of Dec 29th when I heard the news that Lemmy had passed away. It wasn’t a major surprise, but it still came as a shock. I was, and still am, very sad about it. His music has been a constant in my life since that train journey to Port Laoise in 1987. The music business being the can of worms/bucket of shite that it is, it will never be acknowleged by them that we lost one of the most influencial musicians of the last 40 years on Dec 28th 2015.

    Farewell Lemmy and Motorhead, and thanks for everything.
    Born to Lose, Live to Win… PLAY LOUD!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A true noise-merchant of the finest order. Not afraid to turn a bass up to 11, and rattle it out, a man after my own heart. R.i.p. Lemmy. Never to be forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first Motorhead album I ever heard was No Sleep Til Hammersmith. I remember it well. I was about fifteen and there was a guy I was jamming with played it in his car as he was dropping me home. I liked it so much he gave it to me. I remember listening to songs like Stay Clean and Bomber and thinking there was so much more to the band than Ace of Spades. I’d love to have seen them live. RIP Lemmy. Legend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi guys,hope you enjoy this memory of Motorhead…..
    As a Motorhead fan of 35 years,the big day has finally arrived,to send the iconic Lemmy on his way,to his final Gig.I remember it like it was yesterday,and how I got into Motorhead. The first Vinyl I bought belong to them was “No Sleep til Hammersmith” (Gold Vinyl Edition).I played that album thousands of times over all those years,but hearing it for the first time,knocked Me for six,and I was hooked as Motorhead fan forever.My first time to see them live was to be 22nd December 1981,in the Cork City Hall and it was going to be one of the best days of my life.
    After purchasing our tickets,(without the use of mobile phones,internet or any other online gadget)We were on cloud 9.Our favourite band,coming to our City,was like winning the Lottery.The excitement of seeing “The Bomber” swinging from the rafters above the City Hall stage,was what We had dreamt of,but Yes you guessed it,the gig was cancelled only hours before the show.Gutted is an understatement,it was like a death in the family,getting that news.Tickets had to be returned to Pat Egans for a refund.Eventually we got over that experience and got on with life,and did manage to see the fantastic Lemmy and Motorhead plenty of times,over those three decades,starting in 1983.You could always feel Lemmy had something special,and that you were watching a man that was going down in history,as a man that loved what he did,playing music very loud and making millions of people very happy throughout his Lifetime,and I like many of you are honoured to have witnessed this.Thank you Lemmy for the memories,gigs and music \m/…\m/.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First Motörhead album I heard was a beat up Bronze Records cassette of Ace Of Spades and I was instantly blown away at 11/12 years old. It was at what would prove to be a very difficult time in my life and proved to be a good escape from all the bullshit going on. I then heard No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith and would blast that as loud as I could, as I would do later on with other albums of theirs that I’d accumulated. I regret not having seen Motörhead live since from what I’ve seen of concert footage they were a force to be reckoned with. I also regret not visiting The Rainbow on any of my visits to the USA. It sounds corny but the music has always helped me through rough patches and been great to, as has been said, PLAY LOUD and if the neighbours don’t like it that’s just too fuckin bad. RIP Lemmy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A legend in music and a true icon. Bomber and metropolis r two of my all time Fav songs. His distorted bass was unique and dirty in the best way. RIP lemmy, you’ll be missed

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s