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.
‘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