Lemmy Kilmister

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Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister (born Ian Fraser Kilmister, December 24 1945, also known as Ian Fraser Willis) is an English bass player and singer. He is known primarily as the founding member and leader of the heavy metal band Motörhead. His unmistakable appearance, with his facial warts, lank hair and gravelly voice have made him a cult figure known well beyond the world of rock music. He is, perhaps more than any other figure, heavy metal personified.

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Lemmy was born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and raised in Anglesey. His father, a clergyman, left the family when Lemmy was three months old; the experience helped to imbue a deep hatred of religion in Lemmy and this is reflected in a number of his songs.



He spent the sixties in a number of small-time bands including Opal Butterfly, Sam Gopal's Dream, and the Rocking Vickers as well as working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix in 1967 for about six months, and as a roadie for Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In 1971 he joined archetypal space rock UK Underground outfit Hawkwind who were centred around the very in Ladbroke Grove. His distinctive style of bass playing, involving the use of chords rather than the single notes preferred by most players, was a fundamental part of the Hawkwind sound during his tenure. He also provided lead vocals on a number of songs including the band's only UK chart single, Silver Machine, which reached No.3 in 1972.

By 1975 Lemmy's forceful personality and propensity for ingesting copious quantities of amphetamines were leading to conflict with other members, and this culminated with his sacking after being arrested for drug possession while on tour with the band in Canada. Lemmy went on to form a new band with guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. Wallis's former bands included the Pink Fairies, Steve Took's Shagrat and UFO. Lemmy's connection with Steve Took (formerly of T Rex) was not limited to Wallis as they were personal friends and Took was the step-father to Lemmy's son Paul.

Originally the band was to be called "Bastard", Lemmy eventually decided upon "Motörhead" when their manager pointed out that "it's very unlikely that we're gonna get on Top of the Pops with a name like 'Bastard'".

After a short period both Wallis and Fox were replaced with guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor, and with this line-up the band began to achieve success. The uncompromisingly intense nature of their sound appealed to both Lemmy's original metal/rock constituency as well as the new punk fans--intrigued, perhaps, by Lemmy's brief stint in The Damned--and Lemmy's guttural vocals were unique in the world of rock at that time. The band's success peaked in 1980 with a number of U.K. chart hits, including the classic Ace of Spades — still a crowd favourite today. Motörhead have since gone on to become one of the most influential bands on the heavy metal scene and, although Lemmy is the only constant in a changing line-up, are still performing and releasing records to this day.

Lemmy has also worked with a number of other musicians over his career, and occasionally guests with Hawkwind. He has appeared in films, including Eat the Rich, for which Motörhead also recorded the soundtrack. Lemmy collects Nazi memorabilia and has an Iron Cross encrusted on his bass, which has led to accusations of right-wing extremist tendencies. However Lemmy considers himself to be an anarchist.

Lemmy has a predilection for self-deprecating parody. He once appeared in an advertisement for Kit Kat chocolate bars, miming a piece of chamber music on the violin, in an upper-class tea-room. He has appeared in several films, including Airheads where he shouts (truthfully) about being the editor of his high school newspaper. He has also appeared in several movies from the Troma studio.

He published his autobiography, White Line Fever in November 2002.

Dave Grohl said this: "Fuck Elvis and Keith Richards, Lemmy is the God of Rock 'n' Roll.




  • 1982 Live In Toronto - Castle Hendering
  • 1984 Another Perfect Day EP
  • 1985 Birthday Party
  • 1986 Deaf Not Blind
  • 1988 EP
  • 1991 Everything louder Than Everything Else



  • 2002 White Line Fever (Lemmy Kilmister)
  • 2004 La fièvre de la ligne blanche (Lemmy Kilmister) (French version of White Line Fever)

External links

fi:Lemmy Kilmister fr:Lemmy Kilmister pl:Lemmy Kilmister sv:Lemmy Kilmister ja:レミー・キルミスター


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