To say that I am devastated by the recent deaths of Motorhead founding members Lemmy Kilmister and Phil Taylor is a serious understatement. Motorhead was, and will always be, one of the very cornerstones of metal for me. From the very first time that I heard “Ace of Spades” on MTV in 1981, my life would never be the same. I mean, here was a band that consisted of the most insane-looking drummer that I had ever seen up to that time, a guitarist who played faster than I’d ever heard, and a biker-looking dude with his vocal mic pointed skyward as though he were screaming at the gods themselves with a bass tone that sounded like they were screaming back! Motorhead was the band that bridged the gap between metalheads and punkers. They pretty much invented speed metal and it’s nearly impossible to imagine the existence of all of the metallic hardcore hybrids that followed had they not paved the way.
Much has been said about Lemmy, Phil, and Motorhead’s influence in recent weeks. I was privileged enough to meet Lemmy several times at his favorite watering hole, The Rainbow Bar and Grill right here in L.A. He was a funny, witty, down-to-Earth guy who, it seemed, everyone loved. He even kissed my wife at the turn of midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999. That was a year before we were together, but even if it hadn’t been, Lemmy was the kind of guy who you could forgive for kissing your wife. Everyone in L.A. or who was ever a Motorhead fan has a story to tell. For this Massive Metal Monday, we’ll just raise glass, crank the hell out of our speakers, and let Lemmy break it off for you in his own words. Here from the band who talked the talk and walked the walk is “Live To Win” from Motorhead’s landmark fourth album, Ace of Spades.
Original Motorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke and UFO bass player Pete Way were both disgruntled with their bands at the dawn of the ’80s. They decided that they would form a supergroup along with former Humble Pie drummer Jerry Shirley and an unknown 22 year-old Irish singer named Dave King. They used an amalgam of their names to give the band the moniker Fastway. Pete Way left the band before the recording of their first album due to still being contractually obligated to his former record label. He would later go on to play with Ozzy, his own band Waysted, and eventually return to UFO, where he can still be found today.