Connect with us

8 songs Lemmy Kilmister listed as some of his favorites of all time

Lemmy Kilmister


8 songs Lemmy Kilmister listed as some of his favorites of all time

If there was someone who could really be considered a Rock star, that person would be the late legendary Lemmy Kilmister. He had the chance to watch many incredible bands live before they were famous, like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. He was Jimi Hendrix’s roadie for a while, played in many bands until he finally formed Motörhead in 1975.


As the bassist, vocalist and songwriter of the band, Lemmy turned Motörhead into one of the most influential heavy Rock bands of all time. He loved Rock and Roll music from the 50s, 60s and also Punk. That broad musical taste in Rock can be seen in the songs he listed in an interview with Mark Jeeves on Planet Rock back in 2011 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage).

The 8 songs Lemmy Kilmister listed as some of his favorites of all time

The Beatles “Slow Down”

“(They were not safe) It depends how you saw The Beatles and you weren’t there and I was. The Beatles were the hard guys from Liverpool. The Stones were from the suburbs of like south London, give me a break, you know.”

“If you want bad boys, talk to Ringo Starr, he comes from Dingle in Liverpool, which at the time was a no-go area, you know what I mean? It’s not a case of (being) safe, they were wearing suits, they weren’t safe (laughs).” Lemmy Kilmister said.

“Slow Down” was originally written and recorded by the American singer “Larry Williams” in 1958, being covered by them in 1964.. That track was the b-side of “Dizzy, Miss Lizzy” which was another song also covered by the British band and written by Williams.

Lemmy was 15 when The Beatles were formed in 1960 and he had the chance to see the band playing live a few times. The first time was at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool.

MC5 “The Human Being Lawnmower”

“Yeah (I am a friend of the guys from MC5) for a long time (and played with them a couple of times). (I chose this track) because it’s crackers, it’s barmy. You know, I mean, there’s no particular structure you can like follow. Every bit of it is different, you know. It’s excellent!” Lemmy Kilmister said.

Considered one of the bands that influenced the birth of Punk Rock, MC5 was formed in Michigan, United States in 1963. But they were only able to release their groundbreaking album “Kick Out The Jams” in 1969.

The track chosen by Lemmy was first featured on their first studio album called “Back In The USA” released in 1970.

The Rolling Stones “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 (Live)”

“(I chose this one) because it’s excellent. It rocks like a trip hammer, you know. It was when they appeared I believe at Wembley Empire Pool. I think they tore them off stage, they went nuts. If you see pictures from that show it’s incredible. I mean, they’re just surrounded and there’s no security. None, not visible anyway. People have been trampled in the rush. In those days it was different from modern days now, because we used to get mobbed when I was with The Rockin’ Vickers right up in the north. We were like the local Stones.”

“We used to come around a revolving stage in a couple of these ballrooms. By the time it got all the way around we’d be gone, it had dragged us off. I don’t know if you ever had your trousers torn off, that’s really painful, man. You wouldn’t believe how painful that is. Try it sometime and you will see. There was a phase where they always ran out with scissors for a bit of your hair. (It was like) 200 birds running out with scissors. It’s a daunting sight, trust me, there isn’t enough hair to go around either, you know,” Lemmy Kilmister said.

Written by Bobby Troup, the song was originally recorded by the Nat King Cole Trio in 1946. The Rolling Stones cover was made in 1964 and included on their self-titled debut album. It quickly became one of the most popular parts of their early concerts. The live version was included on their 1965 EP “Got Live If You Want It!”

The Who “Summertime Blues”

“(The Who), if you want a Rock and Roll band you can’t go wrong with The Who, you know. I mean, Townshend is a wonderful guitar player and he doesn’t play a whole lot of lead but he is incredible and the way he plays chords is unbelievable. That windmill thing is so like wild. When you see him do it, he doesn’t do it really anymore, which is a shame, he should dye his hair and do it more.”

“I think Pete’s like worried about being old, he shouldn’t be because it’s only years, you know. It doesn’t matter, you can still do the same thing if you feel it. I don’t think he feels it anymore, really. It’s so fierce, when you see the guy do that (the windmill). If you wanna look at The Who, look at the Woodstock thing and look at the ”Kids Are Alright’ video, brilliant. Really brilliant,” Lemmy Kilmister said.

As you can see, Lemmy picked only covers performed by famous British groups from the 60s. “Summertime Blues” was originally co-written and recorded by the American singer Eddie Cochran in 1958. The Who would only release a live version of that cover in 1970, on their praised album “Live At Leeds”. But they had been playing that track live since their early days.

The Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated”

“Oh The Ramones, what a great band. Yeah (I played with them a few times). I wrote a song in tribute to them and they ended up doing it. ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’, I wrote that. (…) Joey (Ramone) understood about Rock and Roll. He knew the structure of a good Rock song, because although they really (had) fast songs, they were Rock and Roll songs from the 50s. He was really good at that,” Lemmy Kilmister said.

Lemmy praised The Ramones during their entire career and as he said, he wrote the track “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” as a tribute to them. It was first featured on Motörhead’s 1991 album “1916” and as Kilmister said a few times, when he first showed the track to Joey, the American musician cried.

The group liked the track so much that they started playing it in their live sets. Like Motörhead, The Ramones are one of those bands that were extremely influential but didn’t sell a lot of records like their peers.

Sex Pistols “Anarchy In The UK”

“I couldn’t chose ‘God Save The Queen’ because we did a better version (laughs). Hello John (Lydon), hello John, I know, I know (laughs). I’ve been on Steve’s (Jones) radio show in Los Angeles and that’s a really good show. He has interesting guys there sometimes,” Lemmy Kilmister said.

Lemmy also noted in the interview that if people shut their eyes while listening to Motörhead, they will know the group sounds like a Punk band. So that’s why he believes that the group was loved by the Metalheads and Punks back in the 70s when there was a rivalry between the two styles.

Although the Sex Pistols are considered alongside The Ramones one of the biggest Punk bands of all time, they were not really similar in many ways. The British band for example, released only one studio album and the American group recorded 14 albums. It is the impact and the protest present on Sex Pistols’ only album that made them occupy an important post the history of Punk.

The Damned “Neat Neat Neat”

“I did the first show with them when they reformed. I love The Damned, they were the real embodiment of Punk as far as I concern. Look at them, they’re four completely different people, they have nothing in common at all. (But) they get on stage and it’s like nuts. Captain (Sensible) is just a large teddy bear,” Lemmy Kilmister said.

Formed in London, England in 1976, one year after Motörhead, The Damned is another important group in the history of Punk music. But they are probably one of the most versatile groups from that era, since in the 80s, for example, they became a Goth Rock group and even released tracks that could be considered psychedelic.

The group is still active and has released 11 studio albums.

Led Zeppelin “Black Dog”

Led Zeppelin, that was a great band. I saw their first show, I think it was. No, it wasn’t because they played abroad first, I think it was in France or Germany. But I saw their first show in Britain and Bonzo did that thing with his hands, no sticks. That’s impressive, man, because it didn’t suffer any sound, any volume loss. He was hitting them so hard, it’s unbelievable. I was impressed by that.”

“I was always impressed by (Jimmy) Page. Hello Jimmy, yes, I was always impressed by you. The bass player is great too, John Paul. He was for years a really well-known session bass player. Plant is the original ‘Oopsy Daisy’ vocal. (I picked ‘Black Dog’) because it’s the perfect Rock and Roll number. You start off with that screaming, it’s brilliant. It’s like an old Rock and Roll song played by people in 1970,” Lemmy Kilmister said.

Formed by Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham in 1968, Led Zeppelin was a crucial band for the evolution of Hard Rock music in the late 60s and 70s.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top