This ‘Motorhead’ Goes to 11

“I was on tour with Hawkwind in 1974, we were staying at the Riot House (the Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles) and Roy Wood and Wizzard were also in town. I got this urge to write a song in the middle of the night. I ran downstairs to the Wizzard room, got Roy’s Ovation acoustic guitar, then hurried back to mine. I went on to the balcony and howled away for four hours. Cars were stopping and the drivers were listening then driving off, and there I was yelling away at the top of my voice.” – Lemmy

 
And there you have it: The origin of a hugely significant song, one that inextricably connects Lemmy’s history with Hawkwind to his subsequent success with Motorhead. Originally positioned as a non-album single B-side, the song would eventually became a ‘hit single’, rising to #6 in the UK singles chart.

 
The song in question was named for the American term for speed freak: ‘Motorhead’. One could therefore easily deduce exactly what kind of drugs Lemmy was on on that night in LA; I’m no expert, but suddenly being struck with an urgent need to write a song in the middle of the night and bellowing off a balcony at the top of your lungs for four hours may indicate the use of speed. Well, they say ‘write about what you know’, and Lemmy did just that. ‘Motorhead’ is a snapshot of what was happening in Lem’s head during that late-night writing session:

 
Sunrise wrong side of another day, Sky-high and six thousand miles away
Don’t know how long I’ve been awake, Wound up in an amazing state
Can’t get enough and you know its righteous stuff?
Goes up like prices at Christmas

 
And of course, no examination of Lemmy’s ‘Motorhead’ lyric would be complete without a mention of the infamous ‘parallelogram’ line:

 
Fourth day, five day marathon, We’re moving like a parallelogram
Don’t move, I’ll shut the door and kill the lights, If I can’t be wrong, I must be right
I should be tired, and all I am is wired, Ain’t felt this good for an hour

 
‘Moving like a parallelogram’? YES. When you do drugs with Hawkwind, everything moves like a parallelogram. Speaking of drugs, the fact Lemmy’s ‘Motorhead’ would appear as the B-side of Hawkwind’s ‘Kings of Speed’ single confirms some previous assumptions about the band’s drug use. Beyond the obvious ‘speed’ reference, the ‘Kings’ lyric also makes reference to cocaine:

 
Between you and me Mr. C, I think we have what these boys need
We guarantee you the sweetest ride, You’ll go so far you’ll think you’ve died
The biggest attraction, the brightest star, Boys you’re going fast and far
Kings of Speed, Kings of Speed, We’re gonna make you, Kings of Speed

 
‘Motorhead’ was the perfect compliment to ‘King’s of Speed’, as the songs are clearly linked thematically, making the single a kind of musical tribute to amphetamines. It would also be the last song Lemmy Kilmister would ever write for Hawkwind, as Lem would be fired in June the following year. Excerpts from a short piece in the NME from June of 1975 gives us insight into Lemmy’s firing, and the significance of speed to this time period in The History of Lemmy:

 
“Sacked. I was sacked. We were going from America to Canada and I had two grammes of Sulphate. They thought it was cocaine. A bit later I was called to Dave Brock’s room. They were all sitting there. I was told I was being sacked. I said ‘Thanks very much’ and left the room. I must tell you I was Upset. Tears Were Seen. Anyway, I pleaded Not Guilty and the charges were dismissed. After all, it wasn’t the Big C — only Biker Sulph, which ain’t illegal in Ontario.”

 
Lemmy further explained that his new band would “concentrate on very basic music: loud, fast, city, raucous, arrogant, paranoid, speedfreak rock n roll … it will be so loud that if we move in next door to you, your lawn will die”. While he first considered naming his band ‘Bastard’, an allusion to his recent firing, ultimately he decided to see the title of his final contribution to his previous band: ‘Motorhead’. As he moved on, he also took the song itself with him and reshaped it for his new project, with great vengeance and furious anger.

 
‘Motorhead’ the song has been re-recorded by Motorhead the band three times, features on two of the band’s official live albums, and many alternate versions of the song – by both bands – have appeared as bonus tracks on ‘Deluxe’ re-mixed/re-mastered versions of the original classic records. I count no less than eleven versions of ‘Motorhead’ that I consider worthy of your attention. Here they are, in the order that they were originally recorded:

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 1 / Instrumental by Hawkwind, from the ‘Warrior on the Edge of Time’ sessions, 1975

umbling to life with a patented Lemmy Bass Intro, the first recording of ‘Motorhead’ lopes along at a friendly, almost laid-back pace. What makes this version interesting is that, in the absence of a lead vocal or guitar solo, the energetic bass strumming of frustrated guitarist Lemmy can be clearly heard in certain sections. Laid bare like this, the simplicity of the song’s riffs and overall arrangement reinforce a stark contrast between most of Lemmy’s songwriting contributions to Hawkwind and the trippy prog/jam sound that characterized most of the band’s music.

 

‘Motorhead’ Version 2 / Brock Vocal by Hawkwind from the ‘Warrior on the Edge of Time’ sessions, 1975

Say what you will about Lemmy’s …unique… vocal stylings, but Hawkwind founder Dave Brock’s vocal take is blah. Maybe it’s just that we’re so used to Lemmy belting out this tune, but Brock’s somewhat thin voice lacks character and his lazy approach to the lyric’s rhythms dulls the impact of a song that’s supposed to be all about the manic intensity of an amphetamine high. The guitar solo here may have been just a ‘scratch’ take, and not intended to be retained, as it’s completely unfocused and aimless; though backed with Hawkwind’s warped electronic sound effects, it actually kinda works.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 3 / Single version by Hawkwind, B-Side of ‘Kings of Speed’ single, 1975

This is the first recording of the song that anyone outside the band ever heard. The WotEoT Deluxe liner notes state that Lem had lost his voice when it was time to record the vocal to his song, and Brock stepped in and sang Lemmy’s lyrics, completing the tune. Apparently Lemmy wouldn’t have it, and he eventually laid down his vocal, job done. Not to be outdone, Lemmy added a lower harmony, which lurks beneath the main vocal and lends the lead vocals an ominous tone. Another major difference from the previous two iterations is the inclusion of a violin solo. You read that right. Welcome to Hawkwind.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 4 / Dave Edmunds Demo by Motorhead, 1975

With Larry Wallis on guitar and Lucas Fox on drums, we have arrived at the very first version of ‘Motorhead’ actually recorded by Motorhead. Compared with the Hawkwind version from earlier in the year, the tempo is juiced, the energy level is way up, and harmony vocal is gone. Lemmy’s vocal performance is spirited and the guitar flourishes by Wallis bring the song squarely into Hard Rock territory. In my humble opinion, this is the ‘best’ studio version of this song. A pity Dave Edmunds, producer of the demo, didn’t stick around to do the album that followed…

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 5 / UA ‘Debut’ Album Version, 1975

This problematic version is the opening track on what would have been Motorhead’s debut. Recorded in 1975 but shelved by United Artists, the record was ultimately released as ‘On Parole’ in 1981 to cash in on the smash success of Motorhead’s ‘No Sleep ’til Hammersmith’, which entered the UK charts at #1. Side One/Track One opens with the sound of a motorcycle roaring to life, obscuring almost all of Lemmy’s bass iconic bass intro; the annoying bike noises continue well into the song. The ‘production’ on this version is questionable at best, with its tribal drums and droning guitar overdubs rendering this version an unfocused mess.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 6 / Chiswick Debut Album Version, 1977

Because Motorhead’s very first version of ‘Motorhead’ (the 1975 demo) was unheard for 22 years, and the second (UA album version) was locked away for six years, this third Motorhead version of ‘Motorhead’ that the general public would hear. With the classic ‘Three Amigos’ line-up of Lemmy, Fast Eddie Clarke, and Philthy Animal Taylor in place, the band recorded this version during a whirlwind weekend session in 1977 that was supposed to produce a 2-song single; instead, the session yielded this song, plus 12 additional backing tracks.

 
Eddie tells it:

 
“That was Friday night, so we had all Saturday and Sunday. We’d been playing these songs for a year, so we thought fuck it, we can do an album. In a few hours we had all the backing tracks down. Put the vocals down. Bit more speed, put some more guitars on. Few more beers – we were fucking steaming. Come Saturday night, we’d nearly finished it.”

 
Speed, indeed! Even the producer’s name was Speedy Keen. Management agreed to up the budget and a full album was completed.

 
Rough and ragged, this take on the band’s namesake song sounds very punk and has a live ‘warts and all’ (no pun intended) feel. When the band crashes in to the song proper, and Phil’s hi-hat work and Eddie’s wall of sound guitars meshing with Lemmy’s trebley bass savagery, it’s clear: while still in its primitive stages, there’s something special happening here. Eddie’s hyperactive solo is the icing on the cake: Motorhead have arrived. Lem’s lead vocal carries a bit more rasp than usual; yours would too if you’d double-tracked vocals for 12 songs in 48 hours. This version was also released as the band’s first official single, with their version of Larry Wallis’ ‘City Kids’ on the flip, in June of 1977.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 7 / Chiswick Session Alternate Take, 1977

Unearthed and included with a 40th Anniversary re-release of the ‘debut’ album in 2017, this alternate take is even more frantic than the album/single version, but probably wasn’t used due to the fact that Eddie applies a an echo effects pedal midway through his solo, and then a flange pedal near the end, which he never de-activates, allowing the effect to continue throughout the entire 2nd half of the song. The vocal is not doubled, and Lemmy’s lead vocal sounds great, although this take was likely abandoned early in the sessions.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 8 / ‘No Sleep ’til Hammersmith’ Album Version, 1981

Recorded on March 29, 1981 during the ‘Ace Up Your Sleeve’ tour in 1980 in Newcastle. The Three Amigos had come a long way since their ‘debut’ appeared in 1977, rapidly evolving into the unstoppable wrecking machine heard on their first official live album ‘No Sleep ’til Hammersmith’. Lemmy intros the band’s final encore with a tossed-off ‘Just in case…’, and unleashes that classic 4-string intro, his bass approximating the sound of the flaming metal wreckage of the Hindenburg impacting the ground. The band sounds absolutely vicious throughout. This recording was also released as a single, unedited, with one minute plus of ear-piercing, squalling feedback and air raid sirens at the song’s end retained from the album version; it peaked at #6, becoming Motorhead’s highest-ever charting single.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 9 / ‘No Sleep til Hammersmith’ Alternate Version, 1981

Also intro’d with a ‘Just in case…’, this one is a bit more ‘unorganized’ than the ‘No Sleep’ version discussed above, but overall quite similar, as it was recorded on March 30, at a second Newcastle City Hall show. This was released in 2001 in a 2-CD ‘Complete Edition’ of ‘No Sleep ’til Hammersmith’, which compiled an alternate version of the ‘No Sleep’ album with unused recordings from the Leeds and Newcastle shows. As is usually the case when tracks that didn’t pass muster the first time around are hauled out as bonus tracks, these tracks are interesting, but not up to the standard of the material chosen for the official album.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 10 / ‘The Birthday Party’ Live Version, 1985

This version is surprisingly tight, considering there were 9 people on stage playing it together! For the final song during Motorhead’s Tenth Anniversary gig at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, the 2-guitar version of Motorhead – Lemmy, Wurzel, Phil Campbell, and Pete Gill – are joined by Phil Taylor, Eddie Clarke, Brian Robertson, and Lucas Fox – every previous member of Motorhead with the exception of Larry Wallis. Wallis didn’t make it, but that was fine; his spot was taken by none other than Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott! Employing 5 guitarists, 2 bass players and 2 drummers (Fox played guitar here, not drums), this rendition could have completely fallen apart, but it all hangs together well, as this mob bulldozes through the old warhorse and does it proud. This show was released on CD and VHS in 1990; sorry, no legit DVD or Blu-Ray exists.

 
‘Motorhead’ Version 11 / Guitar Hero III Video Game Version, 2008

For the next iteration of ‘Motorhead’, we have to jump forward almost 25 years, and into the video game era. In 2008, the song was recorded by would would be the final line-up of Motorhead: Lemmy, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee. This version was released as downloadable content for the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock video game, along with new versions of “Stay Clean” and “(We Are) The Road Crew”, so once again, this song may be an entire generation’s introduction to the magic of Motorhead. This take absolutely rages, and while there’s a definite modern metallic sheen to the proceedings, all of the punk-ish elements in the song remain intact, 30+ years after it’s inception. This track was added to the posthumous covers compilation ‘Under Cover’ in Japan as a bonus track in 2017… But was this really a cover?

 
‘Motorhead’ was not a song that appeared very often in Motorhead’s live set, even in the early years. Perhaps it’s because the song’s structure and feel are somewhat outside of what would become the ‘Motorhead sound’; lyrically, it’s 6,000 miles away from the much more grounded lyrical output Lem would pen for his band. I mean, in the end, it’s really a Hawkwind song, isn’t it? But the opposite argument could also be made: ‘Motorhead’ is really the very first Motorhead song, it’s title and lyric encapsulating the renegade spirit and chemically-enhanced manic intensity that would fuel Lemmy’s career from that moment forward; it’s music embodying the garage-punk Rock n’ Roll attack that he would harness and hammer into the mean machine called Motorhead.

 
By the way… I would so buy this album!

The Axe Factor

Thin Lizzy. UFO. Scorpions. Motorhead. Four of the most prestigious names in Hard Rock/Heavy Metal history. Three of them still exist to this very day; four if you count Black Star Riders (I don’t). Celebrated for decades, their basic histories are pretty well known to the average fan of heavy rock around the world, while hardcore fans will even recognize names like Lucas Fox or Rudy Lenners. What’s not so well-known is how many ex-members these bands share between them. For these bands early on it was all about getting the chemistry just right; about finding that magic missing piece of the puzzle. What follows is an outline of how these four iconic bands hired, fired, borrowed and traded several guitarists before settling on the line-ups that made them famous. Do try to keep up…

Round 1: Gary Moore quits the band he joined at age 16, Skid Row, in 1971, just before a planned tour of the States. Guitarist Eric Bell, then a member of Thin Lizzy, who have just released their debut album, replaces him for some live dates. Welsh guitarist Paul Chapman is hired soon after as Moore’s permanent replacement. Chapman quit in ’72, and the band folded.

scorpions_71

Round 2: UFO have released 3 albums with guitaris Mick Bolton, to modest success. Bolton, however, quits in January of 1972. The band hire Larry Wallis, who lasts until October; UFO never record anything with him in the line-up. Wallis is replaced by Bernie Marsden, who records a 2-song demo with the band before leaving abruptly while on tour with Germany’s Scorpions in mid-1973. Scorps guitarist Michael Schenker, then 17, plays guitar for both bands for the duration of the jaunt. At tour’s end, Schenker is invited to join UFO permanently. He accepts, and Scorpions split up. Klaus Meine and Rudy Schenker join Uli Jon Roth’s band Dawn Road, bringing the Scorpions name with them.

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Round 3: On New Year’s Eve 1973, Eric Bell quits Thin Lizzy. Bell is replaced by ex-Skid Row guitarist Gary Moore (see Round 1). Moore only stays until April of ’74, but the band record three songs with him that would appear on their next album, ‘Nightlife’. Moore is replaced by ex-Atomic Rooster/Hard Stuff guitarist Jon DuCann for live work. DuCann and Lizzy’s Phil Lynott clash, the band’s Phonogram deal is about to expire, so drummer Brian Downey quits the band. Downey eventually rejoins Lynott, who hires guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson to complete the classic Lizzy line-up.

Round 4: Paul Chapman (ex-Skid Row, see Round 1) joins UFO as second guitarist for the ‘Phenomenon’ tour in 1974. He leaves in January of ’75, but evidence of the short-lived 2-guitar UFO can be found on the final four tracks of the ‘BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert’ CD.

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Round 5: Also in ’75, Larry Wallis (ex-UFO; see Round 2) joins Lemmy’s fledgeling Motorhead. Wallis appears on Motorhead’s debut album, which is shelved by United Artists as being ‘unfit for commercial release’ and isn’t released until 1979. Wallis quits a year after joining, in 1976, when 2nd guitarist Eddie Clarke is added to the band.

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So at this point, all four bands have entered a period of relative stability, having finally arrived at what many refer to as their their ‘classic’ line-ups, and release a bunch of undeniably classic albums. For UFO it’s ‘Force It’, ‘No Heavy Petting’, and ‘Lights Out’; Thin Lizzy make ‘Fighting’, ‘Jailbreak’, and ‘Johnny the Fox’. Scorpions release ‘Fly to the Rainbow’, ‘In Trance’, ‘Virgin Killer’ and ‘Taken by Force’. Motorhead’s Kilmister/Clarke/Taylor trio begin making records. And then, Restless Guitar Syndrome set in again…

Round 6: In November 1976, Thin Lizzy’s Brian Robertson (see Round 3) severely injures his hand in a bar fight and has to sit out the band’s US tour with Queen. Robertson is replaced by Gary Moore (see Rounds 1&3). After Robertson recovers, he rejoins the band for another album and tour but he is fired for his excessive drinking, and is replaced once again by Gary Moore in June of 1978. This is Moore’s 3rd go-round w/Lizzy.

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Round 7: In June 1977, after wrapping up the UK leg of the ‘Lights Out’ tour, troubled UFO guitarist Michael Schenker (Round 2) disappears. Paul Chapman (Rounds 1 & 4) rejoins the band again at the height of their US polularity. Schenker is coaxed back to complete the tour, and Chapman steps down. A year later, Schenker quits UFO, while at the same time, Uli Roth (Round 3) leaves Scorpions. Scorps hire Matthias Jabs to replace Roth, but after Schenker becomes available, Jabs is kicked to the curb, and Michael Schenker rejoins his brother in Scorpions after 7 years. Schenker plays a handfull of shows with Scorpions but soon flakes out yet again, and is replaced permanently by Jabs. Oh, and Paul Chapman, on his third tour of duty with UFO, finally becomes a permamnent member.

Scorps go on to fame and fortune as a very different kind of band with Jabs. Lizzy will never be the same, with a revolving door of guitarists that never quite recapture the Gorham/Robertson magic. UFO continue onward with some great records but the ‘Chapman Era’ will always be unfairly compared against the ‘Schenker Era’, and usually not-so-favorably… And what of Motorhead?

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Round 8: Fast Eddie Clarke (Round 5), disgusted with his band’s collabration with punk band The Plasmatics, quits Motorhead during the 1982 US tour promoting the ‘Iron Fist’ album. Mere days later, ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson (Rounds 3&6) is on stage in New York with Philthy & Lemmy, and remains in Motorhead until November 1983. It would be another 13 years before Lemmy and Co. would arrive at the satable 3-piece line-up that still exists to this day.

So what have we learned here?

1) There’s considerably less than ‘six degrees of separation’ between these four bands. The most moves required here to connect any two of these groups is 3.

2) This post is in dire need of a flow chart.

2) Guitarists are mercurial, ego-centric prima donnas.

3) Guitarists may be mercurial, ego-centric prima donnas, but finding the right one was essential to the chesmistry that created the four of the greatest bands and some the greatest music in Heavy Rock history.

 

Motorhead: The First Three Years

Shortly after his firing from UK space rock pioneers Hawkwind, Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister adopted the biker motto ‘Born to Lose, Live to Win’ and made it his new band’s mission statement. As luck (both good and bad) would have it, he would spend the next few years living both sides of that creedo, earning the right to make it his own every day while struggling to get his new band, Motorhead, off the ground.

Motorhead was doomed from day one. But Motorhead was also destined for greatness. Lemmy knew both of these statements to be true even at the very beginning. Motorhead survived more drama and disaster in their first few years of existence than most bands suffer in decades, all through the sheer force of one man’s will. Lemmy’s bold self-belief, dogged perserverance, and abject refusal to give up and go home kept Motorhead alive during the nearly complete clusterfuck of their first three years.

Of course, being 49% motherfucker and 51% son of a bitch didn’t hurt either.

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Born To Lose: In May of 1975, Lemmy is arrested at the Canadian border for possession of amphetamine sulfate. Management bails him out and puts him on a flight to Toronto. At 4am after the Toronto show, he is fired from the band he once performed with on Top of the Pops, singing lead on their Top Ten (#3) single ‘Silver Machine’ in 1972.

Live To Win: Within two weeks of returning to England, Lemmy steals his equipment back from Hawkwind’s rehearsal space, repaints his psychedelic amps black, and forms a band he calls Bastard. He retains his Hawkwind-era manager, who persuades him to change the name. He re-christens his new band Motorhead, naming it after the last song he wrote for his previous band.

BTL: In July, Motorhead’s live debut takes place at the Roundhouse, a high-profile UK venue. Lemmy himself states the band were “bloody awful”. After a 10-show trek across Britain in August, the band opens for Blue Oyster Cult at the Hammersmith Odeon in October. In December, based on the Hammersmith performance, Motorhead wins “Best Worst Band in the World” in the reader’s poll featured in the year-end issue of the respected UK music paper Sounds.

LTW: Motorhead manages to secure a record deal with Hawkwind’s label United Artists. Dave Edmunds, one of Lemmy’s heroes, is set to produce. The band prep their originals and a few covers and enter the studio In December.

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BTL: After recording only four songs, Edmunds abandons the project. Drummer Lucas Fox, trying to keep up with Lemmy’s speed habit, is a disaster in the studio. His drum tracks are not workable and his behavior is erratic, even dangerous; he is fired before the record is complete.

LTW: 21 year old drummer Phillip Taylor is drafted in as Fox’s replacement. Taylor overdubs all of Fox’s drum tracks (except one) and the album is completed with producer Fritz Freyer.

BTL: United Artists shelve the album, deeming it ‘unfit for release’. Motorhead, still under contract with UA, cannot record for another label. In the Spring of 1976, immediately after Lemmy drafts Eddie Clarke in to the band as rhythm guitarist; Larry Wallis quits.

LTW: Motorhead hire a new manager, who arranges another recording. In July, Kilmister/Clarke/Taylor record a single for Stiff Records, ‘White Line Fever’/’Leaving Here’.

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BTL: Motorhead are still under contract with United Artists, who block the release of the Stiff single. Motorhead have now recorded music for 2 labels and neither label has released anything. They limp through the rest of 1976 with one-off gigs, living in squats and starving. Just a few months into 1977, Phil and Eddie decide to call it a day.

LTW: A farewell performance is booked at the Marquee in London in April ’77. Lemmy convinces Ted Carroll of Chiswick Records to record the show in a last-ditch attempt to get anything with the Motorhead name on it released.

BTL: The mobile studio promised by Carroll never materializes at the Marquee gig; the farewell show is not recorded.

LTW: Carroll shows up backstage after the show and by way of apology, offers the band 2 days of studio time to record a single. The band instead record basics for 11 songs, and their single deal with Chiswick becomes an album deal. Carroll gave the band the cash to complete the unfinished tracks, with which Motorhead records 2 additional songs, for a total of 13. The album, called ‘Motorhead’, released in August of 1977, peaked at #43 in the UK.

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BTL: About a week into the headlining tour to promote their ‘debut’ album, Phil Taylor breaks his wrist in a fight and the rest of the tour is cancelled. The band is unable to do any live work until a November gig at the Marquee. Motorhead’s manager cuts ties with Chiswick, citing lack of support, and the band, in turn, fires him. Phil and Eddie throw together another band, The Muggers, and once again consider leaving Motorhead.

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LTW: Motorhead hire manager Doug Smith, who secures the band a deal with Bronze Records for a single. In August 1978, ‘Louie Louie’/’Tear Ya Down’ was released, and hit #68 on the UK Singles chart. The success of the single resulted in Morohead’s first appearance on BBC TV’s Top of the Pops program. It was Lemmy’s 2nd appearance on the show, his first having been to promote Hawkwind’s ‘Silver Machine’.

So: After three years of struggle, Lemmy had come full circle. He had dragged himself and his new band through a minefield of bad deals, bad breaks and plain old bad luck. Lemmy never wavered. Each and every time he was kicked, he kicked back; every setback was met with a grim determination and a raised middle finger. Lemmy made his own good luck by constantly pushing against any and all obstructions, ignoring his detractors and doing plenty of good old fashioned hustling.

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All of this led up to their watershed moment: the release of their seminal ‘Overkill’ album. Lemmy (and Motorhead) ultimately won. Of course, all of the rejected material that was recorded during this time period was eventually released by labels eager to cash in on the Motorhead’s chart success a few years later. Hawkwind has even re-released ‘Silver Machine’ 3 times, and each time it has charted again. Lemmy of course never saw a dime from any of this thievery, but the vindication is priceless. As if the ongoing success of Motorhead, some 40 years on now, weren’t vindication enough.

The lesson in all this? As the slogan on the back side of the picture sleeve for the ‘Louie Louie’ single reads, “NIL ILLEGITIMUM CARBORUNDUM”.

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.