Thursday, October 05, 2006

 

Running With Lemmy

Any hall worth the price of entry will boast a wide range of musical styles within it's walls. Le Rockstore is no exception to this rule I have seen indie pop, reggae, acid jazz, blues, country, jazz, classical, house, techno, soul, blue grass, punk new wave, fusion, hard rock, heavy metal ........... the list is endless. During the period that I was promoting gigs, I would often work for other promoters either as a roadie or as was more often the case as a runner, for those of you that don't know what this means basically is that you double as chauffeur and errand boy. This role I fulfilled for a number of different bands one of the most memorable was when Motorhead graced Le Rockstore, 29 January 1997. As a youngster I had had the good luck to catch the classic line up at a smallish London venue, the Roundhouse, in 1978 I think, and I seem to remember having had a good time. To be honest I considered at the time that Motorhead were at least 15 years past their prime, despite this I was looking forward to my days work after all Lemmy is one of the few true rock legends that would appear to stay true to his roots. I really can't remember how the day went so it must of been rather routine excepting for one incident. The band's roadcrew and band members apart from Lemmy were all at the hall during the afternoon. Lemmy I believe was sleeping something or the other off on his tour bus which for some unexplainable reason had parked up on the edge of town. What was required of me was to go and collect the bass playing monster at a given time and fetch him back to the hall. When I got to his tour bus, I knocked on the door and waited, eventually a long haired hatted man opened the door. 'Hi Lemmy' I said 'I'm Mike your runner are you ready to go', he asked me to wait in the car while he got his gear together. Now I must say my car was no big deal at the time I had an aging Citroen AX, that as often as not was far from being clean. After a few minutes Lemmy joint me in the car, after a few seconds of silence he posed the question 'Do you mind If I smoke', my reply was immediate 'Of course you can, I'm hardly going to say no to Lemmy, am I'. At which he laughed and offered me a Marlboro, red of course! And so it was that I passed a pleasant 30 minutes with Lemmy in my car, chatting away to him about everything and anything.
As for the gig, well it was 100% Motorhead, After almost 40 years in the business I must say that the man is a true professional and knows how to please his public and as expected all the old favorites were given a run through. The last I saw of Lemmy before he boarded his tourbus was of him very angry and asking if anyone had seen his French booking agent, who he wanted to do nasty thing to, because the money was slow in coming, not enough or something like that. As they say it's only Rock 'n' Roll!
I am fully aware that Motorhead have recently released a new album 'Kiss Of Death' which has received mixed reviews and so I guess that means it's one for the diehards. Our music for today comes from the classic period first up the song that was originally performed with Hawkwind and that provided the band with their name and their debut single 'Motorhead' and secondly if Lemmy has written one really classic song, indeed one that has been widely covered it is 'Ace Of Spades'. A song that many a young lad has stood in front of his bedroom mirror with a tennis racquet in his hands as he thrashes hell out of it, while he gets lost in the song's 2 minutes 50 seconds of pure adrenalin. To be played loud ! With or without tennis racquet !

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