The legendary Motörhead leader, lyricist, bassist and vocalist Lemmy Kilmister was in the music business since the early 60s, being part of less known groups as The Rockin’ Vickers and working as Jimi Hendrix’s roadie, before joining Hawkwind, the band that he first achieved notoriety before creating his own group.
So he had the chance to see the evolution of Rock and Roll music up-close for more than four decades until his death in 2015 at the age of 70. Besides being one of the most influential Hard Rock musicians of all time, Lemmy was also known for being a really sincere person and he always talked about other artists, even saying which was in his opinion the best band that ever existed.
The best band that ever existed according to Lemmy Kilmister
Born in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England back in 1945, Lemmy was able to see many incredible artists playing in England in the 60s including the group that in his opinion was the best that ever existed.
He was then questioned if he was able to see them playing live at the Cavern Club in London before they became really big. He said: “Beatles? Yeah…anything you want to know about the Beatles, I’m your boy.”
However, he said in the same conversation that their music really didn’t influenced him. “No, not really…they confirmed my beliefs. It was Little Richard that got me into music, the same one that got them into music. Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, all them & Chuck Berry,” Lemmy Kilmister said.
He had the chance to pay tribute to the group when he was part of the tribute album “Butchering The Beatles – A Headbashing Tribute” released in 2006. Lemmy covered the song “Back In The USSR alongside the Kiss drummer Eric Singer and the guitarist John 5.
He said The Beatles changed the world but that John Lennon wasn’t who everyone though he was
The Beatles are still the most sucessful band of all time with an estimated amount of more than 600 records sold worldwide and as Lemmy said, they really changed the world. However, in his opinion, the late guitarist and singer John Lennon was not who everyone thought he was.
The late musician said that in an interview NME back in 2010. “He was always the asshole of the band, you know. So he was always the one that was really unpopular with everybody outside the band, you undermined him. He was good at that and people would miss his books. Because if you read his books, he’s not the peace-loving nice guy that you heard about it, you know.”
“There’s things like ‘The fat growth on Eric Hearble’ ‘Which was a boil on this guy’s head as I was talking to him.’ And he says, um…”But would you like your daughter marry one? A voice seem to say as he lept off the bus like a burning spastic.”
“That was in like 1964 he wrote that…I mean…So, uh…he certainly progressed after that I suppose you could say. Lennon was massive…you know…I mean…the Beatles were massive.”
“The Beatles changed the world, they really did. I mean, the generation that was with them, which includes me, we believed that we can make the world better and we failed because the world is so full of shit. Because the way that money works you can’t fight money, you can steal it (laughs)”.
His experience of seeing them in the early days of their career
Not many people were lucky enough to have seen The Beatles playing in small clubs before their fame but Lemmy was one of those. It was a girlfriend that convinced him to go see them at the Cavern Club. He recalled in an interview with Revolver magazine 2002 that it was “lust” that made him go see the band for the first time.
“She said, ‘There’s this new band up in Liverpool — you’ve got to see them.’ I said, ‘I’ll come up, if you put me up for the night.’ So really it was lust that drove me to the Beatles. We went up and saw the Beatles at the Cavern, and they were fucking tremendous.”
“They walked on, and it was like one person, indivisible. George used to sing ‘Too Much Monkey Business’ onstage. Paul would do ‘Besame Mucho’ and used to throw sandwiches into the audience.”
“This kid in the audience yelled, ‘John Lennon’s a fuckin’ queer!’ John said, ‘Who said that?’ He didn’t have his glasses on. So he couldn’t see shit. He put ’em on, and the kid said, ‘I fuckin’ did!’ John said, ‘Hang on!’ He took his guitar off, went down in there and hit the kid in the nuts about three times before he hit the floor. Bang! Bang! [Laughs] John was like, ‘Right. Anybody else?’ Then he got back up. They went right into ‘Hippy Hippy Shake’!” Lemmy Kilmister said.
I am a Brazilian journalist, a Classic Rock and Heavy Metal lover. Music has always been part of my life, helped me through tough moments and was with me to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After college I did a postgraduate degree in digital communication. This has helped me to make the website better and bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG