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Thursday, July 26, 2007


THE LAST DAYS OF MOTORHEAD


All due respect to Lemmy and the various incarnations of Motorhead that he's been dragging across the globe over the past twenty odd years, but for me, it ended after 1983's 'Another Perfect Day'.


Not because I didn't like the record, and not because I didn't like Fast Eddie's replacement.


I guess I should back up a bit.


Lemmy, then playing bass and occasionally singing for seventies freak out metal outfit Hawkwind, is left stranded and broke in a motel in mid-western America by said seventies freak out metal band in 1975.


When he got home to England he had a plan. A plan based on a song of his that Hawkwind didn't like. Motorhead.


After a few brief incarnations, in 1976 the classic Motorhead line-up was in place. 'Fast' Eddie Clarke (guitar), 'Philthy Animal' Taylor (drums), and Lemmy.


Nobody wanted Motorhead. Nobody except a growing fan base of bikers, rockers, and punks.


Eventually they signed to Gerry Bron's Bronze label, formed six years prior because nobody wanted Uriah Heep.


The first record, the self titled debut, was exactly what it should have been. It was Motorhead. Loud as hell amphetamine influenced Texas blues and bar boogie.


Touring the hell out of England gained them enough support to get a deal with Phonogram/Mercury for their next record, 'Overkill'.


With a serviceable sophmore effort in the stores, the band hit the boards again.


In 1978 they found the time to record 'Bomber', which was an improvement chartwise, as well as being much better produced.


More touring. A lot more.


At the end of 1979 they entered the studio once again, but this time, when they left, they had a perfect record.


'Ace of Spades' is that rare commodity, a perfect record. Every track is great.


Not many people can say that about an album they put out in 1980.


More touring, with Ozzy in the States, and everywhere else with Saxon in support.


A live record of their triumphant return to the Hammersmith Odeon followed. A true classic, 'No Sleep 'til Hammersmith' showcased a bad mother fucking band, and Lemmy was King, King of a land where bad teeth and warts are the order of the day.


Then he let Fast Eddie produce the next record.


Not that Eddie did a bad job with 1981's 'Iron Fist'.


I think some folk call it bad vibes, whatever the case, Eddie and Lemmy weren't getting on.


It came to a head during a tour break in Toronto where Lemmy had arranged to record a single with Wendy O. Williams. Eddie hated it. Eddie quit.


The tour!


"Where can we find a guitar player in Canada?"


"Robo is drying out at a nearby treatment center."


"Oh, we'll fix that........"


Or so the story goes; Brian 'Robo' Robertson recently late of Thin Lizzy was getting sober at a facility near Toronto. Lemmy rang him up. No more treatment center.


After playing out the remaining dates, the new Motorhead went into the studio.


Robo was a bit more refined in his playing than Eddie. The inside sleeve of 1983's 'Another Perfect Day' has a cartoon strip that details the hilarity that ensued.


The result was nearly magical. The sound was great, Robo added a depth without pussifying the sound. Unfortunately, there were some sub-par tunes.


After the tour, Robbo took his leave, and Lemmy did what Phil Lynott did ten years earlier when he hired Robo, he went with two guitar players - in case one doesn't show.


It was never the same, specially after Philthy left as well.


I haven't bought a Motorhead record since.


Sorry Lemmy.

Comments:
Agreed..
A good example of the whole being more valuable than the sum of it's parts...
I was never a big fan of Fastway, Waysted, etc (Pete Way really likes seeing his name, no?)
It is a fact that Lemmy's "cool factor" has remained solidly in-tact throughout the years..(his "Airheads" cameo is arguable.) He is the genuine article.
I wish I still had my Motorhead Christmas EP.. I cant even find a mention of it online!
 
Milk,

I might have your Xmas EP, I'll look for it. BTW, Jackson has a Waysted album and plays it all the time.

Thanks Jackson for reminding me of all back story of this under appreciated band. That live album was perfect I'd say ("This ones called Iron Horse, Born ta Lose...").

I'm sure you've heard me say this, but seeing the Perfect Day tour to an almost empty room was by far the loudest show I've ever attended. It was the only show in which after two days of ringing ears, I gave serious consideration to going to a doctor. Helix opened for them I think.

Funny, I can't find the cartoon you speak of with the my iTunes download...
 
Not too related to your post, but I love the song Dancing On Your Grave.
 
You didn't get the cartoon with your download? What a rip off!

Correction I have the Waysted lp that You bought back in the day and gave me last year. The only time I've heard it was when we gave it a sping down there in Lawrenceville at the time of hand off.
 
Oh yeah, I forgot...

Those Pete Way bass solos are top notch.
 
God forbid....
 
Have you heard Lemmy's rockabilly stuff with the Stray Cats and Rockats guys?
 
No, sounds promising though, thanks for the heads up.
 
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