Wednesday, October 25, 2006

King of Spades

Posted By on Wed, Oct 25, 2006 at 4:47 PM

Because we were only able to run an excerpt of the exclusive, last-minute interview we were able to get with Lemmy Kilmister to preview Saturday's Motorhead-lining Freaker's Ball at the Community America Ballpark, I thought I'd post the complete interview here. Enjoy it in all its hoary glory. The interview was conducted by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni, whose questions are in bold. -- Ed.

You got the job as the Jimi Hendrix Experience's roadie because you were sleeping on Noel Redding's floor as a guest of his roommate, who was already their roadie. You've said that, on certain nights, Jimi Hendrix was "absolute rubbish."

If he was having a bad night, he would just stomp on his fuzz box until it broke into bits and then just leg it. [Laughs.] 'Oh, it's not working.' But there weren't many of them, only a couple I remember. He's still the best I ever saw for guitar. We all knew he was a revolutionary, and that nobody had ever done that before, but we also knew that he was still playing the blues. So he attracted all the blues guys and he attracted all the rock guys. The only people he didn't attract were the blacks, mostly. The Black Panthers got in on him: 'why you playing for them honkies?' and all this shit. He never really thought of himself as black or anything else, 'cuz he was half-Indian anyway. He started listening to them, which is why we got the bloody-awful Band Of Gypsies, bloody Buddy Miles. It's a bad reason to swap good musicians for poseurs.

He couldn't think of himself as black or white -- he said he was as a unicorn from another dimension.

[Laughs.] Well, there was a lot of acid around, you know.

In your book, White Line Fever, you talk about the Beatles being the street toughs and the Stones being from a more genteel background.

Liverpool is a very tough city. It's like being down on the seafront in New York. It's tough and it's mean and it's broke, because the shipping industry had moved on. The Beatles come from a very depressed hard-man area, and the Stones came from the suburbs of London. It was a complete mistake; Epstein dressed the Beatles up nice, and Andrew Oldham didn't dress the Stones up in suits. But you gotta remember that when the Beatles came in, that was what you did -- if the Beatles hadn't opened up the door for rock and roll again, the Stones would never have been there.

It's hard to think of both bands dressing up as what they're not.

Well, there you go. A lot of people do. There's a lot of weekend ravers around. [Laughs.] How many people do you know in your general life so far that have turned out to be not what they profess to be. Then you find out that the guy with the longest hair tends to think like a fuckin' schoolteacher.

Pick up this book for further Lemmy reading.

L.A. seems too fake for you. What do you get out of being there?

It's isn't fake. There's a lot of really talented people here too, don't forget. And anyway, home is in your head. You live inside your head. If you ain't comfortable there, it doesn't matter where you live. And if you are comfortable there, it doesn't matter where you live. [Laughs.] So I'm quite happy. I've made a lot of really good friends in the States. I like Americans, apart from the government. I'm having a good time over here, so why shouldn't I live in L.A? It's no worse than anywhere else. There's a lot more fakes in New York, I think, 'cuz of that fuckin' artistic scene. All them wine and cheese parties in the afternoons. Painful.

How many of those have you been invited to?

Only one. [Laughs.] My god, have you heard the way these people talk? Do they study at some sort of college for this shit?

You just have to pray they have some good booze and some good food to stuff in your pockets to take home.

[Laughing:] Pockets full of cheese biscuits and leggin' it for the door!

It's a good approach.

Sure -- get some hors d'ouevres and that. So you don't have to bother making them yourself.

You mentioned the American government...

I don't like any government, truly. I hate all politicians just by defnition. If somebody wants to be a politician, there's already a serious question mark next to them. Imagine wanting to kiss other people's babies! Fuckin' 'ell, it's hard enough kissing your own, you know! You have to be two-faced. That's the first requirement. In case the party changes it's stance on something, you gotta be able to turn straight around 180 degrees and lie.

And say 'I always felt that way.'

Yeah: 'I always thought they were cunts!' [Laughs.]

What's your take on 9/11?

9/11 was George Bush's Reichstag fire. It's exactly the same. Politician seizes disaster and takes away civil liberties in the name of freedom. It's just crap. The American people are no safer than they were before. It's just difficult to get on a plane.

If you could say one thing to George Bush, what would you say?

Fuck off.

You've said you named [the Motorhead album] Orgasmatron after the three things you hate the most in life -- organized religion, politics, and war -- but you have a Nazi paraphernalia collection...

Ah, yes, well the trappings of war are always attractive, but the real thing is always different.

What is it about Nazi stuff that you like?

The graphics, actually. It's the most flamboyant government. You've got to remember, they were only around twelve years. Motorhead's been going almost three times as long as the Third Reich! But have you noticed that the bad guys always have the best uniforms? The Confederates, the Nazis, Napoleon. And they had the best flags. Look at the Union Jack. Fuckin' 'ell, that's a terrible flag. The Swastika was used in America a lot before the war as a good luck symbol. It was the trademark of many companies, including California Fresh Fruit Company.

They cribbed it from the Hindus.

From everybody -- Red Indians had it, the Druids had it, Ancient Greece/Sparta...it's all over the world. 'Cuz if you get a stick and you scratch it in the dirt for half an hour, you're going to come up with a Swastika, right? It was originally the four seasons cycling. India still uses it a lot.

You've said that if you ever find any live recordings of the original, Larry Wallis/Lucas Fox lineup of Motorhead, you would burn them.

So would you.

In the slick Hugh Grant film, Love, Actually, there's a shot of a party DJ wearing a Motorhead t-shirt.

There is? Apparently, there's one in Taxi Driver as well. One of the street scenes. Probably not visible to the naked eye. Some looney fan --

Probably magnified it like a million times.

I know, winding the film foreward and backwards. [Mimics squeaky film-winding sound]

Taxi Driver seems a little more appropriate.

That would be more in keeping with the ambience.

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