When Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister died on December 28, 2015, it was automatically the end of Motörhead: Ultimately, all the remaining members of the group, no matter how long they were around and how much musical input they provided, were always just "sidekicks" to the band's founder. But not only Lemmy himself, Motörhead also became a legend, especially in the last 20 years of their existence, when the group managed to captivate an increasingly diverse audience that ended up being far larger than is the norm in the hard rock and heavy metal cosmos
The very last Motörhead concert on 11 December 2015 in Berlin's packed Max-Schmeling-Halle has burned itself into the general musical memory. However, the German tour history of the 1975 founded troupe started on June 30, 1979 in the eclipsed hometown Aschaffenburg. Looking back, it's almost surreal that - as I myself wasn't really aware of - at that heterogeneous festival so typical for the 70s with the headliner Whitesnake and acts like Lucifer's Friend and Omega, the trio at that time with Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums, "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitar and Lemmy Kilmister on bass played their first gig in Germany on the last leg of the "Overkill" tour. With a lot of youthful recklessness and arrogance I had even signed up for interviews with Whitesnake and Motörhead as the author of an insignificant little paper
Meeting Lemmy under unfavorable circumstances
On the way to the Motörhead camper van in the backstage area I almost bumped into Lemmy, who just angrily booted out of it and seemed incredibly tall to me in his studded outfit. (The latter must have been due to his tall, white, dirty boots, because I towered over his 5 foot 78 by 10 inches even then) Taylor [deceased November 12, 2015, note] and Clarke [deceased January 10, 2018, note] were all the friendlier, explaining Lemmy's rage by saying that no speed and coke could be found, so it was best not to talk to him today. A few hours later, Lemmy and company played a loud, angry set. Even if the song was included on their first album, I found it amazing that this loudest and fastest metal band at the time had a track like "Train Kept A-Rollin'" popularized by the Yardbirds on their set. To this, Clarke later revealed to me, "We're just masquerading as a heavy metal band, basically playing bluesy rock and roll, just a little louder." This sentence I could only understand years later, also because it was constantly repeated by Lemmy - as well as Taylor's statement that Lemmy was "basically a hippie - just one who gets angry if the right drugs are not at hand" ...