As always with Not Greatest Hits, we are looking at tracks by an artist that are only known by hardcore fans. The songs that don't show up on compilations or are covered by pub bands (unless they are really trying to show off). This time, it's Motorhead . Well, not just Motorhead, but Lemmy side projects and collaborations too.
Motorhead and Lemmy - NOT Greatest Hits
Many bands and artists are lauded for their ability to change direction, to surprise their listeners. Some reinvent themselves and are impossible to pin down, thanks to their ever-evolving sound. Then there is Motorhead. Album after album after album of full tilt, no compromise rock n' roll. I say rock n' roll because that is how Lemmy described Motorhead. Sometimes he called them a blues band. Pretty much everyone else would call them a heavy metal band. That is apart from all those punks that claim to hate metal but love Motorhead. They probably call them a rock or a punk band. But do the labels matter? Nah, not really. What counts is the music, and that is what we celebrate here.
Has anyone ever heard anyone say anything bad about Lemmy? A man that collected Nazi memorabilia and felt perfectly at home wearing an Iron Cross without ever slipping into the "ooh, look at me being so edgy" pretence that would taint anyone else. A man that was happy to be pictured wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes and to which everyone just said, "cool". They did a track for the Sponge Bob Square Pants movie without any trace of irony or anyone accusing him of "only doing it for the money".
Siding against Lemmy? Are you crazy?
There seem to be only two occasions when someone has tried to side against Lemmy. Both failed spectacularly.
The first was Penelope Spheris in The Decline Of Western Civilisation Part II. Spheris filmed Lemmy from a distance to try to make him look stupid. It failed. She then tried to goad him into denouncing the film's principal subjects - the hair metallers of Sunset Strip. That failed, too, as Lemmy was self-effacing, incredibly generous towards them and wished them luck.
The second was on BBC 2's Never Mind The Buzzcocks, when Mark Lamarr acted like a right prick. The same Mark Lamarr that no one gives a shit about anymore. On that show, while others sneered, Lemmy showed respect to Richard Farbrace from Right Said Fred as if they were old friends. He was presented with a Platinum Disc by Mani from Primal Scream for letting them use the track Motorhead on the album Vanishing Point. All the time, the host is trying hard to look so cool but only ever looked a tool.
I saw Motorhead many, many times. They were always great. Even towards the end, Motorhead were harder, heavier, and better than the rest, and for that, we will always love them.