In June 2006, the day after a triumphant set of Motörhead at Hyde Park, London, Lemmy confided in “Télérama” in an unpublished interview to date.
June 2006, Hyde Park, London. Motörhead, special guest Foo Fighters, playing in front of 85,000 people which we have sworn they were coming for him. The bikers steelworkers trio had beautiful precede the true heads posters of the day, Queens of the Stone Age and then the group of Dave Grohl, the star of the event was undoubtedly Lemmy: the godfather, the patriarch, the so indestructible model a “rock’n’roll way of life” that some have tried to imitate and so many others were content to admire from afar.
Lemmy still claimed, at age 61, so that it does carburait that speed and Jack Daniels, he had a baby liver. Other, more realistic, claimed that his altered body had grown accustomed to this radical diet and a change would have killed him. Whatever. The bottom line for Lemmy was always booze at his permanent place in his favorite bar (the Rainbow, in Los Angeles) and rock grognard head while warts and sideburns to scream into his microphone always set very high but, above all, never slow down. His life was to burn albums to its unique racket smash a metronomic pace to soon start touring with his two acolytes faithful – Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee, always at your service for ages, worthy replacements for the two historical founders Fast Eddie Clarke and Philthy Animal Taylor (RIP).
The day after the concert in Hyde Park, Lemmy had received us for an interview, remained almost unprecedented to date. His sad demise is the opportunity to publish this conversation with a man of rare constancy in his words as in his life.
85,000 people cheering you a hero, it affects you ?
Obviously. 85,000 is insane. And London, England, at that. Suffice to say, my home. However, the back side of the prodigal son or even homesick, that’s not my thing. Only the road before me is important, not that I have already borrowed. But it was cool, concert. Especially that everyone came to tell me that was the best. Even Dave Grohl! It was very classy. It is rare from a headliner. Yeah, it was a great show for everyone. Except maybe for the poor guys stuck in the middle of the crowd. It must feel good piss …
To the end, you and the Foo Fighters were joined on stage by Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen … Around 76/77 Queen and Motörhead were light years, right?
Pffff … The music was never created to separate, to oppose the people. It is marketing and stupid labels that have generated divisions, clans. The only criterion that is worth what one feels. One likes or dislikes, whatever the genre. The problem is that, very early, the kids did not dare to love, much less buy records that were not listening to their friends. This is stupid. There is no rule. It is precisely to oppose rules that rock’n’roll was born. Comply with labels is to bow to the dictates of record companies who do not care much for music. A record company only used to two things: signing the artists and being swallowed by the competition
On Kiss Of Death, your latest album (in. 2006, editor’s note), there is a song called God Is Not On Our Side …
God is not on our side, ha ha , Ha !!! Nothing has changed on that side, I think. There is not an army, a war that the belligerents do not claim that God is with them and that their fight guide. It does not even their fear of a tank or bless their weapons. “Thou shalt not kill” … My ass, yes! How to believe in any religion when we see the millions of deaths that it generates has always and still today? It is monstrous, what need of so many people need that crutch to live.
“I never let people record companies put one foot in the studio, they have nothing to do there “
You, you chose to believe the rock’n’roll …
Exactly. Because rock’n’roll, is freedom. And you have to fight to preserve it. For they have always sought to tame, to enclose the rock’n’roll, to clip his wings. And people of head record companies once again. They killed so many good bands. I never let them get a foot in the studio. They have nothing to do there. Do I hang in their offices rotten, me? They come to us, with guests as if they were visiting the zoo. The worst is when they bring their kids horrible they stick us in the legs. Outside !!!
I’m not nostalgic, certainly not, but it must never lose sight of the essence of rock’n’roll, its original power. Do not be clouding the mind. It’s like love or a relationship. We must never forget the wonderful times of the beginning. Remember that one has loved a woman deeply. But we forget that then could no longer endure it, we had his back to bed and all these terrible things that install inexorably … The question is: should we persevere, to hold on to some thing which is no longer, or always find the initial passion? For the rock’n’roll, there’s no question.
For couples, I do not know … But I do not think people are made to stay together long. They do so only to protect themselves, for fear of being alone, or because of religious beliefs … But when the world is yours, as now, why stay cloisonné prisoner?
You do not believe in loyalty …
I am true to rock’n’roll. He never disappointed me, I owe him that. I have never lost sight, just know to look in the right direction. He has not moved. We did everything to kill him, but that’s impossible. Its root is too deep. Because there is nothing artificial: the depths of their being, most people love the vibration energy. Boogie AC / DC moves people around the world. Because it’s rock’n’roll, simply. As Elvis once. Before it got morons movies. But it remains the heart of rock’n’roll that has not finished beating. All these depressing of awards shows or institutions have tried to sanitize, but in vain. I once went to one of these routs and it was depressing. People are drinking that cider! Ugh !!!
A rock band model for you?
The Ramones. Sorely underestimated, in my opinion. They had all inclusive rock’n’roll, his ethics to build the perfect song. Joey And more than any other. The Ramones were the embodied excellence. And they have all been decimated. We knew that Joey was seriously ill, but Johnny and Dee Dee, damn !!! Well, Dee Dee also wrote it was a little too ….
What did the most harm to rock’n’roll?
Radios certainly almost never do in the way of the authentic. Once a DJ arrives with the desire to spread the true rock records, he got fired. Or he adapts to the ambient consensus by scheduling crappy songs. I know, we can not blame anyone for fear of losing his job, but at the same time, if it means denying oneself completely, not to fight for his beliefs … Lick the line of his boss, this is five minutes …
You have a deep respect for the Beatles …
Because they are the source of a global phenomenon unprecedented. I think people do not realize how they are revolutionizing society 60s at the time, we lived on a totally different planet. Really. A Cavern, Liverpool, no alcohol was used. Just coffee and sandwiches. The only drug available was music. So powerful. There was a small cachet or capsule swallowed by it here and there, but it’s the music that smashing us, made us take off. The world was better in those days because we were all still very naive. This candor gave us wings. And then disillusionment, cynicism settled. And it contaminated.
“You can not triumph over a superior enemy too. But that does not mean that one must bow to their law. “
But you’ve lost your illusions very early, at boarding school …
Yeah, and then the plant then. You can still beat you, take over one, two or three, but after? There are still hundreds behind, so why bother? We can not triumph over a superior enemy too. But that does not mean that one must bow to their law. Adversity teaches you to believe in yourself and a little luck.
You started with the guitar?
Yes. Just the bare minimum to please girls. After, it was the hard way, night after night. Like the Beatles in Hamburg. It was even kids starting there. They found love with prostitutes Star Club that have adopted them. And then drugs, mainly to keep up, because they were doing four sets a night. I also learned like that, at clubs where chained in concerts.
“My memories of Hendrix are fuzzy because it was constantly under acid “
You are one of those who rubbed Hendrix closely …
I was his roadie, his assistant, we shared an apartment in Holland Park. It was cool. After the clear memories are fuzzy because it was constantly on acid! Some bits, some images come back to me, but that’s it. Strange, why we retain certain things and not others? As if someone else was controlling our memory for years … It is said that those who claim to remember 60 were not, and that is somewhat true. But I was still aware enough, even totally stiff, of what was happening around me.
This is what allowed you to survive?
Perhaps. Recently, with Motörhead, we played at a festival in Poland with Pete Doherty. Poor boy, he was completely in the west. I had heard that he was a genius, I just saw a guy who sang rétamé as a Gifted with a band playing bad. It would have to act together when I did not give him six months. I saw so many guys like him … Many people find it romantic, for me it is rather shabby. Just a guy who gives pathetic sight. Ah, you take dope? Sorry, but many others are doing before you. And with more talent!
You have remained close to Phil Taylor, your first drummer [died November 11, 2015, ed]?
All world think it is angry to death. I said, as always, what I thought of him and his behavior, but I’m not resentful. Despite our differences, Phil and I have always remained on the same wavelength. It is the horrible little brother that I did not have and I am his infamous older brother. I parted from him because he no longer secured to the battery, but his sense of humor, very special, never left. And whatever he does, wherever he goes, we will always be welded like the two fingers of one hand. Until we die.
You have a fascination with military uniforms …
Like everyone else, right? Not wearing a uniform? Anyone who dresses, even one who claims to fuck, wears a uniform. Whether the difference or conformism mat. The only nuance is that everyone chooses his uniform. What is still more fun and, provided you have the style or taste, more fun.
The audience cheering you do not live in its vast majority, like you. Most work in offices, have fairly conventional lives …
I think it’s still somewhat the case. Actors, artists or musicians embody a kind of ideal that feeds their fantasy, their feelings actually live vicariously …
You feel a bit player sometimes?
Yes, it happens. Let’s say we do not always want or head to go on stage, but it is something that we owe to all those people who have paid to come see you. So, yes, sometimes we did some pretend to be happy to be there when we are in the sixth dessous.Ça is called to play a little comedy, but this is not the scam. On the contrary, it is respect. I sincerely believe to be an honest person.
You appear in any case on the same stage as in life …
I do not pretend. Already, I dress like this. Most artists feel compelled to constantly changing costumes. I think this is a mistake. They still believe that the “new” is always better. They are wrong. Most often, it was the former. I saw passing fashions and looks filthy shit all these years. So why change at all costs?
Ace of Spades has become your anthem, your only tube …
C ‘is both annoying than either alone, but at least we got lucky. Not only to have a tube, but it fell on such a great song. There are so many groups who drop a hit with a foul as he hate and they have to play until the end of their lives as the highlight of their show! Ace of Spades, okay, what is worthy and it rocks. If we do not always tired. It’s cool to be famous for that.