Portal:Motörhead

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Motörhead are a Grammy Award-winning British heavy metal band formed in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Lemmy (real name Ian Kilmister), who has remained the sole constant member.

Usually a power trio, Motörhead had particular success in the early 1980s with several successful singles in the UK Top 40 chart. The albums Overkill, its follow on, Bomber, Ace of Spades, and particularly No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, cemented Motörhead's reputation as one of Britain's foremost heavy metal groups. More recent exposure has included providing wrestler Triple H's entrance music, and performing live at WrestleMania events; and in 2004, contributing the song, "You Better Swim", to the soundtrack of The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. In 2005 the band received their first Grammy.

Motorhead-03.jpg

While Motörhead are typically classified as heavy metal, speed metal or thrash metal (and often regarded as a foundational influence on the latter two syles); Lemmy disliked such labels, preferring to describe the band's music simply as "rock and roll". Motörhead's approach has remained the same over the band's career, preferring to play what they enjoy and do best, their like for the early rock and roll is reflected in some of their occasional cover songs. Motörhead's lyrics typically cover such topics as war, good versus evil, abuse of power, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, and "life on the road". World-wide the band has sold more than 41 million albums.

The band's distinctive fanged face logo was created by artist Joe Petagno in 1977 for the cover of the Motörhead album and has appeared in many variations on covers of ensuing albums.

Selected article

No Sleep 'til Hammersmith was Motörhead's first live album. The recordings were almost exclusively from three shows: (Leeds, March 28, 1981 and Newcastle March 29 and March 30, 1981). "Iron Horse / Born To Lose" having been recorded live in 1980. Backstage at the last two shows in Leeds and Newcastle the band were presented with silver and gold albums for Ace of Spades, a silver disc for Overkill and a silver for "Please Don't Touch".

The album was released after the St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP and built on the success of that single and the earlier LPs, debuting at Number One on the UK charts and marking the band's most successful period. Lemmy says that originally they intended it to be a double album but they only had enough material for three sides. By the time the record was released the band were on their first U.S. tour with Ozzy Osbourne.

The single, "Motorhead (live)", was issued using the album's final track for the A-side, covered with the non-album track "Over the Top" recorded on the same tour, reaching number 6 in the UK Singles Charts. This was released in a picture-sleeve and also as a picture-disc (p/d UK cat Bronze BROP 124).

The original vinyl album has a photo-montage inner-sleeve and was available in black (UK cat. Bronze BRON 535) and later 'gold' vinyl (UK cat. Bronze BRONG 535). (read more...)

Selected picture

Lemmy-02.jpg

Motörhead's front-man Lemmy is a collector of Nazi memorabilia, here he is seen wearing an Iron Cross while playing live in concert at Reds, West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada in May, 2005. Photograph by Mark Marek.

Selected biography

Mikkey Dee

Michael Delaouglou, better known as Mikkey Dee (born October 31, 1963) is a half-Greek half-Swedish drummer/songwriter in the heavy metal band, Motörhead. The drummer has been known for his incredible speed and precision since his mid-80s stint with King Diamond.

Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, he began his musical career with local bands Nadir and Geisha. His favourite drummer is Ian Paice, other influences being Brian Downey, Neil Peart and Steven Smith. Dee also gives credit to Buddy Rich.

Having moved to Copenhagen to play with Geisha, in 1985, he joined King Diamond, who were looking for additional members to complete their line-up. After their release of the "Them" album (1988), Dee decided to leave the band. Dee continued to play as a session drummer for the recording sessions of the Conspiracy album (1989), after which he was replaced by Snowy Shaw.

He joined Don Dokken for his solo album, Up from the Ashes (1990) whilst also playing for World War Three.

Lemmy had been repeatedly asking him to join Motörhead since 1985, and in 1992, when asked once again, Dee accepted the offer, replacing Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor. (read more...)

Things you can do

Did you know...

  • ...that Lemmy's father was a minister?
  • ...Lemmy worked as a roadie for The Jimi Hendrix Experience for a short time?
  • ...the song "Dog Face Boy" from the 1995 Sacrifice album was inspired by Campbell's looks?
  • ...Fast Eddie Clarke met drummer Phil Taylor while working as hands re-fitting a houseboat?
  • ...Fast Eddie Clarke performed the lead vocal on four Motörhead songs?

Quotes

  • "If this band moved in next door to you, your lawn would die."
  • People don't read any more. It's a sad state of affairs. Reading's the only thing that allows you to use your imagination. When you watch films it's someone else's vision, isn't it? — Interview in the English newspaper The Independent, 15 October 2005.
  • "We've never had a good world, we don't understand how to make it a good world. the only thing we've learned in 2000 years of civilization is how to kill more people from further away, so we don't have to see it. our mindset hasn't improved at all."
  • "Safe sex, safe music, safe clothing, safe hair spray, safe ozone layer. Too late! Everything that's been achieved in the history of mankind has been achieved by not being safe."
  • "The only time I've seen any rebellion was in the fifties, sixties and early seventies. The rest of it you can keep."
  • "One thing I am very glad of is that I went through the sixties. People who didn't really don't know what they missed. We pushed a certain consciousness, a way of life and it was exciting - no AIDS, people weren't dying so much from drug abuse and it was truly a time of freedom and change."
  • "That was a great time, the summer of '71 - I can't remember it, but I'll never forget it!"
  • "If you think you are too old to rock 'n roll then you are."

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