MOTÖRHEAD - 5 Things You Might Not Know About Lemmy Kilmister

This September, Motörhead founder and frontman Lemmy Kilmister will get his memory immortalized with an authorized graphic novel, entitled "Motörhead: The Rise of the Loudest Band in the World." This 144-page novel to be released by Simon & Schuster narrates the history of the rock band Motörhead and Lemmy's life, from his early years to his celebrated work as a musician.

The novel’s launch, which comes almost six years after Kilmister’s death, proves that his memory is still very much alive today — not just in the hearts of Motörhead fans, but in the entire music community, too. So, if you want to get to know him better, here are five fascinating facts about Lemmy Kilmister!

He roadied for Jimi Hendrix

In 1964, Lemmy started his music career by playing guitar for the R&B groups Rainmakers and Motown Sect. A year later, he toured with British band The Rockin’ Vickers and even lived with them in Manchester. When he moved to London in 1967, he became close friends with Noel Redding, the bassist of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. He then worked as a roadie for the band for the next eight months. While working together, Jimi told him to quit playing the guitar and switch to bass instead. Fortunately, he listened!

He spent some time in Hawkwind

Although he had just started playing bass at the time, Lemmy successfully auditioned as the bassist for space-rock band Hawkwind in 1971. Throughout his four-year stint, he was recognized for his unique two- and three-tone technique in playing. He also wrote chart-topping songs for the band, including one that landed at number three on the UK's charts. Before he was kicked out of the band in 1975, the last song he wrote for them was called "Motörhead" — and the rest was history.

He loved casinos

Though his full name is Ian Fraser Kilmister, he was more popularly known as Lemmy. This nickname came from his alleged habit of borrowing money from people to play slot machines, asking “Can you lemmy (lend me) a quid?” But aside from video slots, he was also an avid table game player — immortalizing his love for playing poker in casinos in the hit song "Ace of Spades." Being a regular at the poker tables meant he knew the rules and rhythms of the casino

very well, dedicating the song to the casinos of the ‘70s. His favorite hangout? The video poker machine at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard.

He also collaborated with Ozzy Osbourne

When Lemmy moved to America, he immediately became good friends with Ozzy Osbourne. Sharing a deep love for music, they then collaborated and co-wrote four songs on Osbourne’s 1991 album No More Tears, including the hit “Mama, I’m Coming Home.” Osbourne has always been vocal of his admiration towards Lemmy, whom he called his personal “rock god”. He has also praised how fast Lemmy worked, recalling how he wrote three sets of lyrics and read a book in just four hours.

He had a collection of German war memorabilia

Probably his most controversial collection is one of German war memorabilia, focusing on Napoleon, the Confederates, and the Nazis. He defended this interest by saying that he did not identify with their ideologies, and he was just fascinated with their uniforms.

Remembering Lemmy

Indeed, Lemmy Kilmister’s legacy is very much alive and kicking in the music industry. In fact, Phil Campbell, the lead guitarist of Motörhead for more than three decades, has formed a band with his three sons, called Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons. They were included in the lineup of performers at the 25th edition of Grasspop Metal Meeting, but because of the pandemic, the show was postponed to 2022. They were supposed to play Lemmy’s song “Motörhead”.