from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Motörhead in May 2005
Motörhead in May 2005
General information
origin London , England
Genre (s) Heavy metal , hard rock , rock 'n' roll , speed metal
founding 1975
resolution 2015
Founding members
Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister († 2015)
Larry Wallis (until 1976; † 2019)
Lucas Fox (until 1975)
Last occupation
Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister († 2015)
Philip "Wizzö" Campbell (since 1983)
Mikkey Dee (since 1992)
former members
Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor (1976–1984, 1987–1992; † 2015)
Pete Gill (1984-1987)
Electric guitar
"Fast" Eddie Clarke (1976–1982; † 2018)
Electric guitar
Brian Robertson (1982-1983)
Electric guitar
Michael "Würzel" Burston (1983–1995; † 2011)

Motörhead [ ˈmoʊtərhɛd ] was a rock band formed in Great Britain in 1975 . Motörhead's music combined influences from punk , hard rock , rock 'n' roll and blues rock . Her influence on other musicians and bands, especially heavy metal bands ( Metallica and others), was and is very great compared to her own commercial success.

Between 1979 and 1982 the band had its most commercially successful phase. The albums from this time such as Overkill , Bomber (both 1979) and Ace of Spades (1980) are considered groundbreaking for heavy metal and classics of the genre. Since the early 2000s, Motörhead has seen increasing popularity again. The band's history has been shaped by numerous changes in line-up, management and the record label . Motörhead was under contract with a total of 16 different labels. Since 1995, the group has remained unchanged in the line-up of Lemmy Kilmister ( electric bass , vocals ), Phil Campbell ( electric guitar ) and Mikkey Dee ( drums ). One day after Lemmy Kilmister's death on December 28, 2015, Mikkey Dee declared the end of the band.

It was characteristic of Motörhead that the electric bass took over the role of the rhythm guitar, which means that the timbre of the music was significantly more bass-heavy than that of comparable groups such as AC / DC . The group presented itself as " outlaws " in terms of appearance and lyrics . With this, Motörhead secured the sympathy of the punk scene of the late 1970s and thus served as a link between punk and heavy metal.


Foundation and early years

Lemmy Kilmister, here with an electric guitar

The story of Motörhead is inextricably linked to that of singer and bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister. In on 24 December 1945 Stoke-on-Trent , Staffordshire , England -born Ian Kilmister, son of a field chaplain of the Royal Air Force and a librarian , played bass since 1971 with the British space rock band Hawkwind . During a North American tour , he was on the border of the United States to Canada in May 1975 for possession of amphetamines arrested. The band bailed Kilmister and flew him to Toronto to perform because they couldn't find a replacement quickly, but he was fired after the concert.

Kilmister returned to England and immediately began putting together a new band. He knew guitarist Larry Wallis from joint appearances with UFO and the Pink Fairies , drummer Lucas Fox was recommended to him by a friend. Kilmister played bass and did the vocals. Originally the band was supposed to be called Bastard , but the band manager at the time, Douglas Smith, did not consider the name suitable for the media. Then Kilmister chose "Motörhead" as the band name. The name comes from the US-American slang , means "speed freak" (German: "speed addict") and is also a synonym for users of amphetamine-containing drugs. At the same time, "Motorhead" is the title of the last song that Kilmister wrote for Hawkwind. This song was originally released as the B-side of the Hawkwind single Kings of Speed . The use of the letter ö in the band name, which is not common in the English language, goes back to the group Blue Öyster Cult . The Motörhead logo with this umlaut comes from the graphic artist Joe Petagno , who made the cover for the group's first album. This so-called heavy metal umlaut was also used in the nicknames of the band members Phil Campbell ("Wizzö") and Mick Burston ("Würzel") as well as in various album titles.

On July 20, 1975, Motörhead made their first appearance at the London Roundhouse in the opening act of the band Greenslade and in October 1975 the band played as the opener for Blue Öyster Cult at the Hammersmith Odeon .

United Artists , Hawkwind's record label, signed Motörhead and in the spring of 1976 the band went to the recording studio to record their first album, On Parole . Already during the recording there was tension with drummer Lucas Fox, who could not keep up with the lifestyle of the other musicians, which was characterized by excessive consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Kilmister met Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor through a mutual friend , and after a jam session with him, Fox was fired, replaced by Taylor and the recordings completed with this line-up. However, the record label prevented the release of the album and a single that Motörhead had recorded for their new label Stiff Records in the summer of 1976. During this time Kilmister came up with the idea of adding a second guitarist to the band with "Fast" Eddie Clarke . For the first rehearsal together, Larry Wallis appeared several hours late and then left the band. As the main reason for his departure, Wallis later stated that he had lost interest in Motörhead because of the problems with the recording and the feeling that Clarke had been intended to replace him from the start.

Commercial breakthrough and success

At the end of 1976 United Artists released the band from the existing contract. Without a valid record deal, Motörhead decided in the spring of 1977 to break up due to unsuccessfulness and give one last concert. During this concert Ted Carroll from Chiswick Records was present and offered the musicians a record deal for a single. The recordings for the single became recordings for a full album, which was released in September 1977 under the title Motörhead . It was recorded in the line-up of Kilmister, Taylor and Clarke and, at number 43 on the British album charts, marked the band's first commercial success. The Beyond the Tresholds of Pain tour for the album had to cancel Motörhead after five gigs because Phil Taylor had broken his wrist.

After the break with band manager Tony Secunda in mid-1978 because he had canceled his contract with Chiswick Records, Douglas Smith took over the management again and got Motörhead a contract with Bronze Records . The first result of this collaboration was the single Louie Louie , which was released on August 25, 1978 and reached number 68 in the UK singles charts . After a tour in the fall of 1978, the album Overkill was recorded and released on March 24, 1979. It reached number 24 in the UK album charts and was awarded a "Silver Record" for more than 60,000 units sold. After completing the tour to Overkill , Motörhead recorded the next album, which was released on October 27, 1979 under the title Bomber ; it reached number 12 on the British album charts and also silver status. For the first time, the musicians achieved income from which they could live and invested a large part of the royalties in the equipment of the band.

Shortly after Bomber and the associated commercial success, United Artists Records released On Parole, which was recorded in 1976, in the fall of 1979 . Since the rights to the album were held by the record label, they did not need the band's consent.

During the Bomber tour , four tracks were recorded live and appeared in May 1980 as the EP The Golden Years , which reached the British Top Ten at number 8 . The rigors of touring life took their toll when Kilmister collapsed after a concert at Stafford Bingley Hall in July 1980 . After a short recovery period, the band began recording Ace of Spades in early August , which was released on November 8, 1980. The album is Motörhead's biggest success to date in Great Britain, with No. 4 on the album charts and gold status for more than 100,000 units sold. The single Ace of Spades reached number 15 on the British singles chart.

In November the Ace-Up-Your-Sleeve tour of Great Britain and Northern Ireland began . After a performance in Belfast , Phil Taylor injured his cervical spine , so that the performances planned for the beginning of 1981 in Europe had to be postponed. During this time, Motörhead and Girlschool recorded the EP St. Valentine's Day Massacre , on which Please Don't Touch was a cover version of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates . The EP reached number 5 in the charts. In March 1981 the tour continued. During the performances in Leeds and Newcastle , the recordings were made, which can be heard on the live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith , released in June 1981 . This album entered the UK album charts at number 1 in the first week of the chart . Motörhead received their last gold record in Great Britain for the album.

Internal disputes and line-up changes

After completing the US tour with Ozzy Osbourne , Motörhead returned to Europe and began recording the next album, Iron Fist . During this time there were differences between the management and the band, as the members of Motörhead suspected that they had been cheated in financial terms. These problems were reflected in the recordings because management did not provide the £ 10,000 required to produce the album. Then Kilmister decided that Eddie Clarke should produce the album. After Kilmister had obliged Clarke to produce the recordings for the Stand-by-Your-Man EP with Wendy O. Williams during the ongoing tour of the Iron Fist album , there was an open dispute between the two musicians in the studio the consequence of which Clarke left Motorhead. Clarke played two outstanding shows in New York and Toronto , but was no longer an official Motörhead member at the time.

Clarke was replaced by Brian Robertson (formerly Thin Lizzy ), whom Kilmister had known for years. Because he was available at short notice, the band had him flown from Europe to Canada. After a short rehearsal, he played the first concert with Motörhead in Detroit in June 1982. This was followed by further appearances in Japan and Europe, before the recordings for Another Perfect Day began in March 1983 . Because of Robertson's guitar work, the album is considered untypical for Motörhead because it contains more refined and extravagant melodies than the other albums. With the album released in June 1983, Motorhead's commercial success began to wane, it no longer reached the top ten of the album charts and received no award for the number of sales. The fans of Motörhead initially disliked Another Perfect Day and accused the band of pursuing more commercial than musical interests; today the album is an insider tip. The collaboration with Robertson lasted until the fall of 1983. During the current tour, he initially refused to play old Motörhead songs. The scandal came after a concert in Hanover , where Robertson sang the song Another Perfect Day three times despite a warning from Kilmister . Kilmister then fired him and canceled the rest of the tour.

Guitarist Phil Campbell (2005)

In an interview with the music magazine Melody Maker , Kilmister announced that Motörhead was looking for a new guitarist. Phil Campbell and Michael "Würzel" Burston were selected from the large number of applications . In order to be able to choose one, Kilmister set an audition to which drummer Taylor did not appear and instead declared that he wanted to quit. At the suggestion of the band manager he was replaced by Pete Gill (formerly Saxon ), whom Kilmister had known since touring with Saxon in 1979. It was also decided to continue the band with two guitarists. With this line-up, Motörhead continued the tour that was interrupted in autumn 1983 in the spring of 1984. To promote the new line-up, Bronze Records released the best-of album No Remorse in September 1984 , which, in addition to previously published tracks, contained four new tracks recorded by the current line-up. Due to problems with the label, which according to Kilmister “was no longer interested in the band”, Motörhead left Bronze Records at the end of 1984, but was prevented from releasing a new album until further notice due to legal disputes. During this time, the band made various appearances, including the tenth anniversary in June 1985 at the Hammersmith Odeon.

In November 1985, the dispute with Bronze Records was settled, and band manager Douglas Smith signed Motörhead with his own record label GWR Records . The studio album Orgasmatron , recorded in early 1986, was released on August 9, 1986, followed by a tour. In early 1987, the shooting of Motörhead's cameo in the film Eat the Rich took place. While shooting, Pete Gill was fired from Kilmister due to personal differences, and Phil Taylor returned to the band. With him Motörhead recorded the next album Rock 'n' Roll in June 1987 , which was released in September of that year. The following tour took the band to the USA in 1988 as a support act for Alice Cooper . In July 1988 a concert in Hämeenlinna, Finland was recorded at the Giants of Rock and released as the live album No Sleep at All . After a short break in early 1989, the band began songwriting for the next album. Its release, however, was postponed considerably because Motörhead parted ways with its manager in the fall of 1989 and thus also with his record company GWR Records. The reason for the separation was the suspicion of financial irregularities, which ultimately led to a breach of trust between Smith and Motörhead.

Major deals and the search for a new record label

In 1990 Motörhead found a new manager in Phil Carson, who had already worked for Robert Plant . Carson got Motörhead a record deal with WTG Records , a sub-label of Sony Music . The headquarters of the company was Los Angeles , which is why Kilmister moved his residence there in June 1990, while the other band members remained in England. Shortly afterwards, recordings began for the album 1916 , which was released in February 1991. At number 142, it reached the highest level on the US Billboard 200 album charts to date . During the subsequent tour, manager Carson broke up with the band because he got a better offer. The management was initially taken over by Sharon Osbourne , who, however, accused the band of financial irregularities during the Japan tour and terminated the contract. Motörhead went on tour through Australia without management . This was followed by the Operation Rock 'n' Roll tour through North America, organized by the Sony Group . In addition to Motörhead, a total of five bands - Alice Cooper, Judas Priest , Metal Church and Dangerous Toys - took part, all of which were under contract with various labels of the Sony group. Towards the end of the tour Motörhead found a new manager in Doug Banker. In early 1992, the recordings for the album March ör Die began , while drummer Taylor was fired. The separation had already emerged, the final trigger was that Taylor showed up for the recordings without having rehearsed the new pieces.

Drummer Mikkey Dee

The new drummer was the Swede Mikkey Dee , whom Kilmister knew from a tour with King Diamond . Dee can be heard for the first time on March ör Die , which was released in August 1992. Motörhead changed management again and Todd Singerman became the new manager. At this time, the bankruptcy of the WTG label became apparent. In early 1993, the band switched to the German label ZYX Music , which specializes in dance music , because it made the best financial offer. In November 1993 the next studio album was released with Bastards . After the tour for the album, Motörhead and ZYX separated and the band switched to CBH, the label of their German promoter Rainer Hänsel . For the album Sacrifice , released in March 1995, a distributor for the markets outside Europe could only be found with CMC Records afterwards . Shortly thereafter, guitarist Michael "Würzel" Burston left the band, who, together with his wife Lemmy Kilmister, accused him of taking him out financially. Motörhead decided not to look for a replacement for Burston and has since been active as a trio in the line-up of Kilmister, Campbell and Dee.

After a tour, the next studio album, Overnight Sensation , was released in October 1996 . The accompanying tour took the band to Russia for the first time, where they made four appearances in Moscow , Rostov and Saint Petersburg . In March 1998 the album Snake Bite Love was released . On the tour that followed, an appearance in Hamburg was recorded and released in 1999 as the live album Everything Louder than Everyone Else . Also in 1999, the fifteenth studio album was recorded during the breaks of the current tour. We Are Motorhead was released on May 16, 2000 , followed by a tour that lasted over a year.

Increasing popularity

A turning point in commercial terms was the album Hammered , which was released in April 2002. Motörhead sold more copies of the record within a month than of the two previous albums put together. Since the band was booked again for larger concerts, this meant a financial upswing for the musicians. This was followed by a record deal with the renowned German independent label SPV and in 2004 the album Inferno . Furthermore, Motörhead recorded the song You Better Swim for the SpongeBob SquarePants movie in 2004 . For her title Whiplash , a Metallica - cover , Motorhead received the 2005 Grammy Award in the category Best Metal Performance .

On June 16, 2005, the band's 30th anniversary was celebrated at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. The long-time companions of Saxon and Girlschool opened for Motörhead . Also in 2005 Motörhead played at the Vaya-con-tioz farewell festival of the Böhsen Onkelz at the Lausitzring .

Motörhead has worked with the American wrestling promotion company World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) several times since 2000 . So three songs were recorded ( The Game , Line in the Sand (Evolution) and King of Kings ), as the entrance theme for the wrestler Triple H used. The songs can also be found on the various CDs of the promotion. In addition, Motörhead had appearances at Wrestlemania  17 (April 1, 2001) and WrestleMania 21 (April 3, 2005), where they accompanied Triple H's entries live.

In August 2006 the album Kiss of Death was released - the first since the 1992 album March ör Die , which was able to place in the British album charts. In Germany, it entered the album charts at number 4 in the first week of the chart. In 2008 the album Motörizer was released . For part of the American tour in 2009 , ex- Guns-N'-Roses drummer Matt Sorum was hired to replace drummer Mikkey Dee , who was not available due to participation in the Swedish edition of the jungle camp . In the course of the preparatory work for the 20th studio album The Wörld Is Yours , which was released in December 2010 on the occasion of Lemmy Kilmister's 65th birthday and the band's 35th anniversary, the band founded their own record label under the name Motörhead Music. During the tour for the album The Wörld Is Yours , an appearance in Santiago de Chile was recorded on July 9, 2011 and released as DVD The Wörld Is Ours Vol. 1: Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else in November 2011 . The concert was recorded by Sam Dunn's production company Banger Films .

Motörhead has been offering its own drinks collection since 2011. It consists of the red wine Motörhead Shiraz , a rosé and a vodka called Vödka . Various accessories such as wine and whiskey glasses are also offered.

Health problems

Due to Kilmister's health following an operation and a fall, Motörhead canceled all subsequent festival appearances of the year on July 2, 2013. Nevertheless, the band performed at the Wacken Open Air 2013; the concert was canceled after 30 minutes due to Kilmister's health. Before that, they had to cancel two appearances. Kilmister's health problems also overshadowed the recordings of the 21st studio album Aftershock , which was released on October 18, 2013. Due to persistent health problems, the European tour planned for winter 2013 had to be postponed to spring 2014. This European tour was also canceled in January 2014. The reason given was again Lemmy Kilmister's health problems due to his diabetes .

In 2014, Motörhead and Biff Byford recorded the song Starstruck for a Ronnie James Dio tribute album. It was released on April 1, 2014 and is called This Is Your Life . In the same year they had a concert in Birmingham , where they appeared again for the first time with Phil Taylor and Eddie Clarke. These had a guest appearance on Ace of Spades . In September 2014 the first Motörhead cruise took place under the title The Motörboat Experience .

In an interview with Rock Hard magazine , Kilmister announced a new studio album for 2015. This was published with the title Bad Magic on August 28, 2015. It reached number 1 on the German album charts in the first week after its release , making it the band's first number one album after No Sleep 'til Hammersmith , which reached number 1 on the British album charts in 1981. On the eve of the album release, Motörhead had to cancel a concert in Salt Lake City because Kilmister complained of breathlessness, the concert in Denver the following day was canceled for this reason. More concert cancellations followed in early September 2015, the reason for this being the altitude sickness that Kilmister is said to have contracted in Salt Lake City. On September 8th, Motörhead continued the tour in St. Louis.

Lemmy Kilmister dies

Lemmy Kilmister died of cancer on December 28, 2015. In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen , drummer Mikkey Dee said that with the death of the singer, the band would no longer exist. He categorically excluded future tours and new albums, which officially sealed the end of the band.

UDR Music announced that they want to release Clean Your Clock, a live album by the band on May 27, 2016 . The album, which shows material from their shows on November 20 and 21, 2015 in the Munich Club Zenith , was released on DVD, Blu-Ray disc, CD, vinyl and as a box set. The band's last concert took place on December 11, 2015 in the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin after it was postponed on November 27, 2015 due to an illness of guitarist Phil Campbell.

Stylistic classification

In literature and music magazines, Motörhead is mostly assigned to the genre of heavy metal , although style elements from hard rock , punk and blues rock flow into the music . Musicologist Dietmar Elflein comes in an analysis of the music of the band in 2010 to the conclusion that due to the backbeat technique in drumming, the shuffles and the used Blue schemes in music theory to assign the tape for heavy metal does not come into consideration, in an interview with the taz he called Motörhead's music "Chuck Berry, just more distorted and louder". Steve Waksman writes in a study from 2009 that Motörhead was the first band in the overall musical context to combine punk and heavy metal. Ian Christe describes Motörhead as the link between Black Sabbath and the emerging punk in the mid / late 1970s. Black Sabbath invented heavy metal, Judas Priest made it known and Motörhead defined it. The music magazine Rolling Stone writes that the band's music is "the lowest common denominator between punk and metal". The German music magazine Rock Hard describes the debut album Motörhead as a "completely independent bastard of rock 'n' roll and punk". Jörg Scheller calls Motörhead a special case, as the band is on the one hand a classic heavy metal band, but on the other hand a rock 'n' roll band. In the Tagesspiegel , Scheller specifies: "From the sixties they [Motörhead] brought the thirst for freedom with them, from their present they absorbed the anarchism and nihilism of punk, mixed it with the mechanical coldness of heavy metal and counteracted this rock, which is unspoilt by the lust for life" n'Rolls. "

The group itself, and especially the band founder Lemmy Kilmister, did not regard the group as a metal band. In an interview with Rolling Stone on the occasion of the release of the 2004 album Inferno , Kilmister said it was time to create a new category for music: "Motörhead Music" . In other interviews he points out that he always felt more connected to punk than metal, Motörhead had more in common with The Damned than with Black Sabbath and had nothing in common with Judas Priest ; for him bands like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest are metal, faster bands like the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWoBHM) and Metallica sound more like punk than metal to him. Punks are more interesting and angry, metallers quickly lose their anger when there is money involved, and metal lost its revolutionary spirit when it came to the arenas where punks would never have played. The band itself describes their style as rock 'n' roll, referring to the lifestyle, the themes and the song structure of the 1950s genre, especially with songs like Angel City , Going to Brazil , Don't Waste Your Time and cover versions like Blue Suede Shoes and Hoochie Coochie Man becomes apparent. However, this is not to be called Motörhead's main genre, as the band also serves other styles or is influenced by them. Some pieces can be assigned to hard rock , for example You Better Run is comparable to Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood , to which the line of text "I'm iron & steel, I'm bad to the bone" alludes. Titles like RAMONES , a song about the American band Ramones , can be clearly assigned to punk , the band performed with The Damned, among others, and Lemmy had contacts with the early punk subculture, including Sid Vicious and Wendy O. Williams .

Musical meaning

Motörhead is counted among the pioneers of Speed ​​Metal . The Billboard Magazine has the far-reaching influence of Motörhead down and writes that the "overwhelming, loud and fast heavy metal [band] one of the most groundbreaking styles of the late 1970s was" the band's music was not punk rock, but was they were the first metal band to “bundle their energies and thus lay the foundation for later heavy metal genres”. Songs like Overkill or Bomber are seen as the basis for Thrash Metal . The 1979 album Overkill played an important role in the development of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal , while the 1980 album Ace of Spades was described as one of the most important albums in rock history. Furthermore, Motörhead paved the way for later drum techniques such as the blastbeat with the combination of fast tempo and double bass technique, which was first heard on Overkill (1979) .

Motörhead has influenced musicians and bands across all sub-genres of metal. As early as the late 1970s, groups like the Tygers of Pan Tang were playing cover versions of the band, and black metal pioneers Venom and Bathory were inspired by Motörhead, along with other bands like Black Sabbath. Motörhead was one of the main influences of the early 1980s emerging metal scene in the USA . Lars Ulrich , Metallica's drummer , accompanied Motörhead on their 1981 US tour and was the head of the US Motörhead fan club . Jeff Becerra, singer of the American death metal pioneers Possessed , pointed out that the claim of Possessed was "to play as fast and as loud ... as Motörhead". The bands Master and Death Strike by Paul Speckmann, who are also among the pioneers of this music genre, also count Motörhead among their influences. The Canadians Voivod also showed themselves audibly under the influence of Motörhead's music on their 1984 debut War and Pain . The metalcore movement that emerged in the USA in the mid-1980s refers to Motörhead as well as the 1990s crust movement . The band's influence continues to this day. Fenriz of the Norwegian band Darkthrone pointed out that he was inspired by the early releases of Motörhead for the style change that took place in the 2000s and called the combination of heavy metal and punk practiced by Motörhead "metal punk".

Music and lyrics

Intro (bars 1–4), main riff (bars 5–8) and verse accompaniment (bars 9–12) from Ace of Spades .
Audio sample ? / iAudio file / audio sample

Motörhead's music is described as a combination of fast-paced drumming, distorted bass, volume and a vocals that combine traditional vocal techniques with shouting . The early releases were heavily influenced by rock 'n' roll and punk. The debut album Motörhead (1977) is characterized by 12-bar guitar riffs and double stops in the style of rock musicians like Chuck Berry . With the publication of Overkill (1979), Motörhead redefined his style with heavily distorted guitars tuned a semitone lower, the increased use of double-bass drum technology, combined with fast sixteenth-note rhythms modeled on groups such as Deep Purple . The music was largely based on two instead of three chords. The album Another Perfect Day is seen as rather untypical for Motörhead, which offers more refined and extravagant melodies than other releases of the group due to the participation of guitarist Brian Robertson (formerly Thin Lizzy).

Typical for Motörhead is the sound of the electric bass , which largely replaces the second guitar. When playing, an open string is continuously struck , which in combination with the strings that are fingered produce a sound that lets the electric bass take on the role of the rhythm guitar. Another stylistic feature is that many songs open with a distinctive bass riff. This is the case, for example, with Motörhead , Stone Dead Forever , Ace of Spades and Overnight Sensation . The timbre of the guitars is described as severely distorted and, except for solos , does not use sound-shaping effects such as wah wahs . As a result, the timbre of Motörhead's music is significantly more bass-heavy than that of comparable bands such as AC / DC . The drum sound is undistorted and creates a sonic "concert situation" through a wall of sound . The starting point for playing the drums is always a backbeat . Lemmy Kilmister's harsh vocals have their origins in shouting , as used in traditional blues . Although Kilmister's voice could be seen as a tenor , the guttural elements made it deeper.

Motörhead has adapted elements of the biker scene since the band was founded . While contemporary groups such as Judas Priest documented the connection by wearing leather clothing with rivets and chains, the connection with Motörhead was expressed by adapting the ethos of the loser in the song lyrics. This rather simple and humble point of view made Motörhead appear more down to earth than other bands and thus secured the sympathy of the punk movement of the late 1970s.

Lemmy Kilmister wrote the majority of the lyrics, the subjects are broad. The theme song of the debut album Motörhead is described as a rock 'n' roll ode to the drug amphetamine. Another theme is the image of the loser and outlaw in song lyrics like Born to Lose . But also the text concept of entire albums like Ace of Spades is based on this theme. Kilmister's fascination with military history is also reflected in the texts. Bomber deals with the deployment of a bomber crew in World War II , 1916 deals with the Battle of the Somme in World War I and Marching off to War deals with the perceived senselessness of war. Kilmister criticized some of his texts about women like Jailbait or I'm So Bad , which were viewed as sexist and misogynistic. In some texts Kilmister criticizes grievances in society and especially religions ( (Don't Need) Religion , God Was Never on Your Side ). A special song text is (We Are) The Roadcrew , which Kilmister wrote in honor of the Motörhead roadies .

The band mascot Snaggletooth

Band mascot Snaggletooth as a metal belt buckle

In addition to the band logo , Motörhead, similar to the heavy metal band Iron Maiden , uses a fantasy figure specially designed for the group who serves as a mascot and which is depicted in different variations on many of their album covers as well as on stage backgrounds and band t-shirts is. The figure represents a skull with a threateningly open mouth and bears the fantasy name "Snaggletooth" ( English for "crooked tooth" or "crooked tooth"), completely "Snaggletooth B. Motörhead". The figure consists of dramatically exaggerated elements of a boar and a dog skull as well as some martial-looking military elements - including a steel helmet studded with spikes, an iron cross and a chain attached to the oversized tusks. Snaggletooth first appeared on the cover of the 1977 debut album Motörhead . The figure was designed in 1975 by the artist Joe Petagno, who wanted to use it to implement his ideas of a Hells Angels skull. In 2007, Petagno ended the collaboration with Motörhead.

Motörhead beers

Since 2016, the Camerons Brewery in Hartlepool, England has been brewing Motörhead Roadcrew Beer , an American pale ale with 5% ABV, which guitarist Phil Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee helped develop. Motörhead Bastards Lager , a bottom-fermented beer with 4.7% ABV that is produced by the Krönleins Brewery in Sweden, has been around since 2012 . There is also an Imperial Pils lager as well as its own whiskey brand and Motörhead Vödka, which is also made in Sweden .


Motörhead singles

Since the rights to the early Motörhead albums do not belong to the band, these albums are repeatedly released in different formats. In addition to these official 22 albums, there are various bootlegs and dozens of best-of albums. Only the studio albums are listed here. The first album On Parole , recorded in 1975, was initially not released due to a legal dispute and then released on United Artists Records in 1979 without the band's consent , for this reason it is not included in this list.


  • Holger Stratmann (Ed.): RockHard Encyclopedia . 700 of the most interesting rock bands from the last 30 years. Rock Hard Verlag, Dortmund 1998, ISBN 3-9805171-0-1 , p. 264-266 .
  • Lemmy Kilmister with Janiss Garza: White Line Fever - The Autobiography . IP Verlag Jeske / Mader, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-931624-25-0 .
  • Jake Brown with Lemmy Kilmister: Motörhead: In The Studio . John Blake Publishing, 2010, ISBN 978-1-84454-978-8 .
  • Various authors: Motörhead . Special edition of Rock Hard magazine . Rock Hard Verlag, Dortmund 2011. ISSN  2190-7285
  • Steve Waksman: This Ain't the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk . University of California Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-520-25310-0 , Chapter 4: Metal, Punk and Motörhead: The Genesis of Crossover, pp. 146-171 .
  • Andrew L. Cope: Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music . Ashgate Publishing, 2010, ISBN 978-0-7546-6881-7 .
  • Dietmar Elflein : Heavy Metal Analysis: The Musical Language of Heavy Metal . transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-8376-1576-0 .
  • Mick Stevenson: The Motörhead Collector's Guide . Cherry Red Books, 2011, ISBN 978-1-901447-27-9 .
  • Marvin Chlada , Jerk Götterwind (Ed.): Lemmy. A homage . Verlag Trikont Duisburg and Verlag Dialog-EditionOrt = Duisburg-Istanbul, 2017, ISBN 978-3-945634-19-6 .

Web links

Commons : Motörhead  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Christopher Knowles: The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll . Cleis Press, 2010, ISBN 978-1-57344-564-1 , pp. 162 .
  2. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 91.
  3. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 100.
  4. Tony Rettman: The King Of Oblivion Slings Mud. Larry Wallis interview. In: Perfect Sound Forever, June 2002, accessed November 20, 2010 .
  5. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 102.
  6. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 121.
  7. Jan Jaedike: Almost Eddie Clarke: The best time of my life! In: Rock Hard . No. 188 , January 2003.
  8. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 144.
  9. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 146.
  10. a b c d Essi Berelian: Motörhead . In: Peter Buckley (Ed.): The Rough Guide to Rock . Rough Guides, 2003, ISBN 978-1-84353-105-0 , pp. 698 f .
  11. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 150.
  12. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 151.
  13. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 158.
  14. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 200.
  15. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 220 f.
  16. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 236.
  17. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 258.
  18. Newsflash October 27, 2010. , October 27, 2010, accessed on October 30, 2010 .
  19. Motörhead Beverages. Motörhead, archived from the original on April 20, 2012 ; accessed on April 19, 2012 (English).
  20. Motörhead's Wacken Open Air Performance Cut Short Due To Lemmy's Health . August 2, 2013; accessed on August 31, 2013.
  21. Motörhead cancel all European festival shows. AMPYA, archived from the original on July 15, 2013 ; Retrieved July 5, 2013 .
  22. Motörhead cancel With Full Force. Festivalhopper, accessed July 5, 2013 .
  23. Götz Kühnemund : A chat with Mister Rock 'n' Roll . In: Rock Hard . No. 317 , October 2013, p. 15 .
  24. Motörhead: Tour postponed to 2014., October 30, 2013, accessed October 31, 2013 .
  25. Motörhead: Rescheduled European Tour Canceled. , January 24, 2014, accessed January 24, 2014 .
  26. MOTÖRHEAD Rejoined By 'FAST' EDDIE CLARKE, PHIL 'PHILTHY' TAYLOR At Birmingham Concert (Video). In: November 10, 2014, accessed June 8, 2015 .
  27. Jan Jaedike: Exclusive interview with Lemmy . In: Rock Hard . No. 330 , November 2014, p. 35, 37 .
  28. MOTÖRHEAD 'Very Reluctantly' Decides Not To Perform In Denver. In: August 29, 2015, accessed August 31, 2015 .
  29. Motörhead cancel further shows because of Lemmy's health. In: Rock Hard Online. September 3, 2015, accessed September 3, 2015 .
  30. Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister is dead on on December 29, 2015; accessed: November 11, 2020
  31. After Lemmy's death: "Motorhead is over". In: Expressen . December 29, 2015, accessed December 29, 2015 .
  32. ^ Richard Bienstock: Motorhead Drummer Mikkey Dee: "Motorhead Is Over, of Course". In: December 29, 2015, archived from the original on December 29, 2015 ; accessed on December 29, 2015 .
  33. Dominik Rothe: Motörhead: “Clean Your Clock” live set will be released in May. In: Rock Hard . March 31, 2016, accessed January 17, 2017.
  34. Dietmar Elflein: Heavy metal analyzes: The musical language of heavy metal , p. 130.
  35. Frank Schäfer: Music expert Elflein on heavy metal. In: April 1, 2011, accessed July 24, 2014 .
  36. Steve Waksman: This Ain't the Summer of Love , p. 171.
  37. ^ Ian Christe: Sound of the Beast. The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal . ItBooks, ISBN 978-0-380-81127-4 , pp. 29 f .
  38. a b c Brown / Kilmister: Motörhead: In The Studio . P. XIII f.
  39. a b Holger Stratmann (Ed.): RockHard Enzyklopädie . 700 of the most interesting rock bands from the last 30 years. Rock Hard Verlag, Dortmund 1998, ISBN 3-9805171-0-1 , p. 264 .
  40. Jörg Scheller : From scream to writing school: Heavy metal as a parade essence . In: Rolf F. Nohr, Herbert Schwaab (Ed.): Metal Matters. Heavy metal as culture and world . Lit Verlag, Münster 2011, ISBN 978-3-643-11086-2 , pp. 282 .
  41. Jörg Scheller: A legend drinks soda. Meeting with Motörhead singer Lemmy Kilmister. In: July 25, 2014, accessed September 3, 2014 .
  42. a b c d Ronnie: Motorhead. Interview with Lemmy 6-20-2000. Ear Candy Mag, June 20, 2000, accessed September 16, 2010 .
  43. Brown / Kilmister: Motörhead: In The Studio . P. 222.
  44. a b c d Jeb Wright: Better Motorhead Than Dead: An Interview with Lemmy Kilmister. Classic Rock Revisited, archived from the original on February 2, 2008 ; accessed on September 16, 2010 (English).
  45. ^ Robert Walser: Running with the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music . Wesleyan University Press, 1993, ISBN 978-0-8195-6260-9 , pp. 14 .
  46. Stephen Thomas Erlewine: Motörhead Biography. Allmusic, accessed on September 22, 2010 .
  47. ^ Ian Christe: Sound of the Beast . P. 41.
  48. ^ Cope: Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music . P. 99.
  49. ^ Ian Christe: Sound of the Beast . P. 32.
  50. Michael Moynihan , Didrik Søderlind: Lords of Chaos . Extended and revised edition. Index Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-936878-00-4 , pp. 28 .
  51. Luxi Lahtinen: BATHORY - An Epic Interview With Quorthon. Metal Rules Webzine, 2001, accessed October 13, 2010 .
  52. ^ Lemmy Kilmister with Janiss Garza: White Line Fever - The Autobiography . IP Verlag Jeske / Mader, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-931624-25-0 , p. 134 .
  53. ^ Ian Christe: Sound of the Beast . P. 113.
  54. ^ Luxi Lahtinen: Master - Paul Speckmann. In: December 14, 2008, archived from the original on February 4, 2010 ; accessed on January 17, 2017 (English).
  55. ^ Ian Christe: Sound of the Beast . P. 198.
  56. ^ Ian Christe: Sound of the Beast . P. 181.
  57. Rance: Darkthrone - Fenriz. Global Domonation Webzine, July 15, 2005, archived from the original on November 10, 2011 ; accessed on October 13, 2010 (English).
  58. ^ Anthony Morgan: New Wave of Black Heavy Metal - Fenriz pays tribute to the golden eighties era with Darkthrone's twelfth album FOAD 2007, archived from the original on April 8, 2009 ; accessed on September 16, 2010 (English).
  59. ^ Cope: Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music , p. 98.
  60. ^ Cope: Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music , p. 96.
  61. ^ A b c Dietmar Elflein: Heavy metal analyzes: The musical language of heavy metal , p. 195.
  62. ^ Cope: Black Sabbath and the Rise of Heavy Metal Music , p. 102 f.
  63. Steve Waksman: This Ain't the Summer of Love , p. 168.
  64. a b c Dietmar Elflein: Heavy Metal Analyzes: The Musical Language of Heavy Metal , p. 180.
  65. a b Dietmar Elflein: Heavy Metal Analyzes: The Musical Language of Heavy Metal , p. 182.
  66. Steve Waksman: This Ain't the Summer of Love , p. 155.
  67. Steve Waksman: This Ain't the Summer of Love , p. 159.
  68. Steve Waksman: This Ain't the Summer of Love , p. 154.
  69. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 209.
  70. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 208.
  71. Kilmister / Garza: White Line Fever , p. 124 f.
  72. Pete Alander, Kassu Kortelainen: Joe Petagno Interview. KK Downing Steel Mill, November 5, 2010, archived from the original on April 26, 2011 ; accessed on November 24, 2010 (English).
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on December 1, 2011 in this version .