Everything Louder Than Everything Else
The lineup since 1996: (From left to right) Mikkey, Lemmy and PhilSex, Drugs and Rock & Roll meets Heavy Metal
rhead was found in the middle of The Seventies
by bassist/vocalist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, after being fired from Hawkwind
for, in Lemmy's words, "doing the wrong kind of drugs". Many members, with only Lemmy remaining, came and went. Along with Judas Priest
, they kickstarted the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal
at the end of The Seventies
. Despite being called "the most punk band of the Heavy Metal scene", Lemmy prefers to call the music of his band by the simple name of "Rock And Roll".
The band is composed of:
- Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister - Vocals/Bass
- Phil Campbell - Guitars
- Mikkey Dee - Drums
Their past formations had the following members:
- Lucas Fox - Drums (1975)
- Larry Wallis - Guitars (1975-1976)
- Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor - Drums (1975-1984, 1987-1992) (classic lineup)
- "Fast" Eddie Clarke - Guitars (1976-1982) (classic lineup)
- Brian "Robbo" Robertson - Guitars (1982-1984)
- Pete "Frank" Gill - Drums (1984-1987)
- Mick "Würzel" Burston Guitars (1984-1995)
- Tommy Aldridge - Drums (1992)
- Matt Sorum - Drums (live, 2009)
- Motörhead - 1977
- Overkill - 1979
- Bomber - 1979
- On Parole - 1979note
- Ace Of Spades - 1980
- Iron Fist - 1982
- Another Perfect Day - 1983
- Orgasmatron - 1986
- Rock 'n' Roll - 1987
- 1916 - 1991
- March ör Die - 1992
- Bastards - 1993
- Sacrifice - 1995
- Overnight Sensation - 1996
- Snake Bite Love - 1998
- We Are Motörhead - 2000
- Hammered - 2002
- Inferno - 2004
- Kiss of Death - 2006
- Motörizer - 2008
- The Wörld is Yours - 2010
- Aftershock - 2013
Some examples of tropes which fits with the band:
- The Alcoholic: Lemmy has admitted he's an alcoholic, claiming to have consumed a bottle of Jack Daniel's on a daily basis since the late '70s, but doesn't care because it doesn't turn him into an asshole. He's also been known to say that he can't quit drinking because "My insides are in an alcohol solution, and without it they'll die."
- All Drummers Are Animals: Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor
- Anti-Love Song: "Too Good To Be True" from March ör Die.
- Audience Participation Song: Invoked in "The Chase Is Better Than the Catch" where, during the break, Lemmy repeatedly sings "Let me hear ya".
- Awesome McCoolname: Lemmy Kilmister.
- Axe Crazy: "Red Raw" is about a murderus invidual prowling in the night, looking for someone to kill. One verse (Monster in the gaslight, shivers in the cold, looking for a bad girl) gives an impression that the song is about Jack the Ripper.
- Badass: Lemmy Kilmister, of course!
I hold a banner drenched in blood, I urge you to be brave
I lead you to your destiny, I lead you to your grave
Your bones will build my palaces, your eyes will stud my crown
For I am Mars, the god of war, and I will cut you down.
- Also "You Better Run" from March or Die album, as well as its title track.
- Badass Mustache
- Heartbroken Badass: In his autobiography White Line Fever, Lemmy reveals that his first love was a young black girl he met when he was a teenager living in England. She was killed in a hate crime. To this day she remains the only woman he's ever loved.
- Bawdy Song: "The Claw", "Ridin' With the Driver".
- Bedlam House: "Back at the Funny Farm" from Another Perfect Day.
- Berserk Button. Don't tell Lemmy his band plays Heavy Metal. It's Rock 'n' Roll!
- Big Rock Ending: Subverted twice and then played straight during "Overkill". Twice the song seems to break into a Big Rock Ending, then returns to tempo and continues as normal. Only on the third Big Rock Ending does the song really end.
- Blood Knight: "March or Die"
- The Casanova: Lemmy.
- Catch Phrase: "We are Motörhead. We play Rock 'n' Roll!", which is what Lemmy says at the beginning of every show.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: In the very early days of Motorhead (Lemmy estimates it was 1975), a groupie climbed on stage and gave Lemmy a blowjob right there while he was in the middle of performing.
- Cool Plane: The cover of Bomber◊ shows the band flying one. It was also part of their stage shows on the subsequent tour.
- Cool Train: The cover of Orgasmatron◊, along with their songs "Riding with the Driver" and "Locomotive". It's safe to say Lemmy might be a closet Rail Enthusiast.
- Cover Version: They've covered a lot of songs. Let's see... "The Train Kept-A-Rollin'" by Tiny Bradshaw, "I'm Your Witch Doctor" by John Mayall, "Emergency" by Girlschool, "Please Don't Touch" (together with Girlschool) by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, "Louie Louie" by Richard Berry, "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man" by Muddy Waters, "Stand by Your Man" by Tammy Wynette, "Masterplan" by The Plasmatics, "Shoot 'em Down", "Enter Sandman", "Whiplash", "Cat Scratch Fever", "Jumping Jack Flash", "God Save The Queen", "Tie Your Mother Down", "Breaking The Law" and "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers".
- Crapsack World: "Brotherhood of Man" makes our world look scary...
- Dead Man's Hand: "Ace of Spades" refers to this hand.
Read 'em and weep, the dead man's hand again
- Also, they recorded a song called Dead Man's Hand as a B-side to The One To Sing The Blues in 1991.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "Killed by Death".
- Determinator: "Stand" from March or Die encourages the listener to be one, because "if you stand then you deserve it all".
- Distaff Counterpart: Girlschool were marketed this way by Bronze Records when they had both bands on their repertoire.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Although Lemmy is quite open about his vices (smoking, alcohol, drugs, groupies) and hard-partying lifestyle, he does not encourage others to follow his example because he's seen too many of his friends die from living the way he lives.
- Drugs Are Bad: "Lost Johnny" from Motörhead and On Parole but (which was originally on Hawkwind's Hall of the Mountain Grill).
- Eat the Rich: The song "Eat the Rich" was written as the title track for the Brit Com film of the same name about eating the rich and also featured Lemmy in a supporting role. However, the song's lyrics are actually a thinly veiled reference to a certain sex act.
- Epic Rocking: "Just 'cos You Got the Power" (from Eat the Rich single and Rock 'n' Roll reissue) and the extended version of "Overkill" from various compilations go over seven minutes, which are a rare occurrence for Three Chords and the Truth-specific band like Motörhead.
- Face of the Band: Lemmy is this in spades.
- God Is Evil:
- "God Was Never on Your Side" from Kiss of Death.
- "Orgasmatron" is pretty much a Badass Boast from a malevolent god, who also represent politicians and conquerors.
- Gender Bender: "I'll Be Your Sister" from Overkill.
- Greatest Hits Album: After been over 30 years in business, the band has amassed about 57 of them.
- Harsh Vocals: Lemmy is probably the Trope Codifier.
- Heavy Meta: "Rock 'n' Roll" and "Rock 'n' Roll music"
- Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: One of the first examples. If Blue Oyster Cult is the Ur Example, then Motörhead are the Trope Codifier.
- Homage: "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." from 1916.
- "I Am" Song:
- "Vibrator" from Motörhead and On Parole:
I'm a Vibrator,
Pleased to make a start,
I'm a Vibrator,
And I'll never ever break your heart
- And "Orgasmatron" from Orgasmatron
I am the one, Orgasmatron
The outstretched grasping hand
My image is of agony
My servants rape the land
- And "Snaggletooth" from No Remorse:
Speed don't kill and I'm the proof
Just call me Snaggletooth
- A more literal example, "I am the Sword" from Bastards.
I, I am the blade, I break the oath that you made
I, I am the mace, I am the blow in the face
I, I am the axe, to cut down heroes like rats
I, I am the sword, I do the work of the Lord
- Then there's "The Game" from Hammered:
I am the Game, you don't wanna play me
I am control, no way you can shake me
I am heavy debt, no way you can pay me
I am the pain, and you know you can't take me
- I Am the Band: Lemmy, basically, IS Motörhead.
- I Call It "Vera": Lemmy's bass, Rickenbastard. Rickenbacker now even have a signature LK 4001 Bass.
- In the Back: The song "Shoot You in the Back"
- Insistent Terminology: Lemmy used to claim they just play Rock 'n roll. NEVER tell him otherwise. According to a quote of his, it's because at the time 'heavy metal was too slow and boring' and the band were inspired by rock and roll bands. These days he seems to be more at peace with the heavy metal label, and in his autobiography White Line Fever he actually refers to Motorhead as heavy metal several times.
- Intercourse with You:
- Many (TOO many) songs, but specially "Killed By Death".
- The band's cover of Cat Scratch Fever, which if anything is even more sexual than the original.
- Jailbait: Not only does the band have a song titled "Jailbait", but Lemmy mentions in his autobiography having sex with a groupie who was only sixteen years old. Incidentally this is perfectly legal in the UK.
- Kavorka Man: Lemmy is not privileged in looks, and yet slept with over 2,000 women. It probably helps that he actually respects women; he takes offense if anyone claims they can't play rock as well as men.
- Lead Bassist
- Lighter and Softer: "I Got Mine" (still heavy but more melodic than usual), "Whorehouse Blues" (acoustic blues)
- Long Runner Line Up: Type 2. Kind of a bizarre example. While most people assume the band is basically Lemmy plus two other guys, drummer Mickey Dee has been in the band since 1992 and guitarist Phil Campbell has been in the band 27 years (which makes him by far the longest remaining bandmember not counting Lemmy). But while the current lineup has been together for 1992 the lineup is technically only 16 years old as until 1995 they had a 4th guitar player who was in the band for 11 years.
- Loudness War: Motorhead has been called "the loudest band in the world", and has been clocked in excess of 140 decibels, a sound level roughly equivalent to that of a jet engine or the Space Shuttle.
- Mad Scientist: "I'm The Doctor" from Iron Fist.
- Made of Iron: Lemmy himself. He's in his mid-60s and he drinks at least one bottle of Jack Daniel's every day (and has for the last 35 years), he loathes vegetables and lives on a diet of mostly meat and cheese, he's been a smoker since he was 11 years old, and he also does copious amounts of drugs (mainly speed). Despite all this his liver, lungs, and kidneys are fine and he maintains a touring schedule that would exhaust men half his age.
- Dented Iron: His old age and bad habits are starting to catch up with him: he has Type 2 diabetes and had to get a pacemaker in 2013, after his irregular heartbeat forced him to cancel shows. In October 2013, he admitted to quitting smoking and drinking.
- Metal Band Mascot: Snaggletooth, the war pig.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: They're about an 8, which is very heavy for their genre of metal and even heavier for the time they emerged.
- The Movie: Lemmy: 49% Motherfucker, 51% Son of a Bitch
- NameTron: Orgasmatron, both the album and the song on it.
- Name's the Same: "Killed by Death" single has two different tracks named "Under the Knife".
- Off on a Technicality: In 1975, Canadian police arrested Lemmy at the Detroit/Windsor border crossing on suspicion of cocaine possession. As it turned out, what he was actually carrying was meth, which was not illegal in Canada at the time, and he was released without charge (though his brief incarceration lead to his being fired from Hawkwind).
- Older Than They Look: Lemmy is 67 years old but still looks pretty damn good, appearing to be in his mid-40's to early 50's. This is amazing considering the fact that he's been an alcoholic and smoker for so many years; he's blessed considering that what he's been doing has been proven to make people look older than they are.
- Lemmy likes to joke that he drinks so much that his body is being preserved in an alcohol solution, which is why he doesn't look as old as he is.
- Overly Long Gag: True to its name, "Overkill" has two false endings.
- Parental Incest: "Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me" from Bastards.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Lemmy is a collector of Nazi memorabilia, and has a very large collection. This has led some pundits to accuse him of being a Nazi sympathizer, but Lemmy has denied this. He actually considers himself an anarchist who is "anti-fascism, communism, any extreme" and claims that "government causes more problems than it solves", and he collects Nazi memorabilia because they had the coolest-looking stuff.
- Rated M for Manly
- Rockstar Song: "Angel City" from 1916.
- Rock Trio: All of their lineups except for from 1984-1995, when both Phil Campbell and Würzel were on guitars.
- Self-Titled Album
- Sesame Street Cred: A re-recorded version of "You Better Run" was featured in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and included on its soundtrack as "You Better Swim".
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Lemmy has slept with more than 2,000 women, he's notorious for his love of speed and booze and he's been kicking ass around the world with Motorhead for 35 years and counting.
- Something Blues: "Whorehouse Blues" from Inferno.
- Soprano and Gravel: Headgirl, the mashup between Girlschool and Motörhead.
- Spelling Song: "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." from 1916.
- Stage Names: Aside from Lemmy himself, many past members used them, as noticed above.
- Start My Own: Motörhead was born when Hawkwind kicked Lemmy out and he decided to start his own band.
- Strictly Formula: If it's been working pretty well for over three decades...
- Take That: Lemmy says each verse of Orgasmatron represents one of man's substitutions for orgasms: Religion, Government and War. All three verses are from the perspective of the man in charge of each and none paint a pretty picture.
- Those Wacky Nazis: "Brotherhood of Man", again:
- Three Chords and the Truth: One of the few bands that both metalheads and punks like.
- Titled After the Song: "Motorhead" was a Hawkwind song written by Lemmy when he was there.
- Trope Maker: For Speed Metal.
- Video Full Of Film Clips: The music video for "Hellraiser" features clips from Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth, with some additional footage of Lemmy playing poker with Pinhead.
- Villain Song:
- Both of Triple H's entrance themes, "The Game" (the song most connected to him) and "King of Kings" (his current one).
- Evolution's entrance theme, "Line in the Sand", counts as well.
- Wanting Is Better Than Having: "The Chase is Better Than the Catch," from Ace Of Spades
- World War I: 1916's cover art and title song, which is based on the battle of Somme. Also a massive Tear Jerker.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Lemmy's tendency to write the lyrics in five minutes has produced lots of these.
- Word Salad Title: "Snake Bite Love", "Stone Dead Forever".