Lemmy White Line Fever

White Line Fever – Music, Speed, and Honesty

An early Christmas present to me was Lemmy’s autobiography. As soon as I learned that he had one, I wanted to read it immediately and there were many things that I expected to see like all the substances he consumed and girls he scored but I didn’t care because he’s Lemmy and there are so many great things about him as a human being.

Just about every single chapter in this book had me either laughing or agreeing with Lemmy’s words. It seems that we share a lot of beliefs, more than I thought, except for the part about thriving on substances all the time, but that was his choice and I have my choice not to do those things! You begin to see him as more than just a rockstar whose veins were always full of some chemical you see him as actually a very humble and funny person.

Where do I begin? Well, this autobiography was not written like most of the ones I have read by other musicians. Lemmy had a lot to say about his childhood and that he grew up doing whatever he wanted, and still managed to thrive in spite of expulsion and lack of formal education. He found a way to make it on his own without those things. He learned the hard way sometimes and didn’t believe it needed to be taught, but he could learn it himself.

He does talk a lot in the beginning about how he discovered his love for women and his active sex life over the decades, but what I like is that he never goes very explicit with it like Gene Simmons did in his book. They’re both two rockstars who did a lot of sex, but Lemmy keeps it brief. He’ll go on about whichever bird he took home, (yes he called us birds which doesn’t really bother me for some reason) but not get too racy with the details, just like, hey I scored her, she was really pretty, and that’s it.

I finally got to hear about that black girl he dated briefly and it’s no wonder he hates heroin after what happened to her. Lemmy will try anything except that drug, can you blame him? He’s also had a couple of other girls he got serious with, even one who gave him a son, but he doesn’t go too much into that. I did not expect there to even be another at that time in the epilogue highlighting the last decade of his life that was written by Steffan but I rest my case.

Even before forming Motörhead, Lemmy just hopped from band to band once he discovered his love for rock music and says he saw it come to life, one of his biggest inspirations was the Beatles. There were a lot of bands he was in, hell I think one of them even wanted to cut their hair, which was something he refused to do! Then he settled with Hawkwind for quite some time, and I still remember the crazy time when he got arrested at the border into Canada when he was caught with cocaine, poor guy, but I think it’s safe to say that that was one of the contributing factors that led to him being fired from Hawkwind.

As I mentioned earlier regarding education, I like how Lemmy was also able to learn on his own to play an instrument, he started with the guitar and eventually moved to bass and stuck with it while in Hawkwind and when he formed Motörhead. Over time, he kept getting better at it and played bass almost like its sound was equivalent to lead guitar, so it’s no wonder Motörhead is such a loud band, but that’s why I love them! He even says that he got stuck singing because no one else wanted to do it, but that’s okay because he’s a great singer!

There were some things I was hoping to read about once he got Motörhead together, and it initially started with a song he wrote with the same name for Hawkwind, and there were a few changing members until he settled with Eddie Clark and Phil Taylor. (Oh man, there are a lot of Phils involved with Motörhead!) I never learned where they came up with the concept for the mascot Snaggletooth, but it’s clear Lemmy wanted to create a band that was all about being loud and fast even if he doesn’t mention that directly.

It makes me wish I could go back in time to see Motörhead live in their earlier days because of some of the awesome effects they had on stage like the bomber they used on the tour to promote their Bomber album. That would have been cool to see. But before that, it seemed like they were struggling, especially with record deals, their first live record began to catapult them in the direction toward success. Lemmy said he did not anticipate that record to even be released at the time it was, but at least it had a good impact. I also want to think that Overkill was another contribution that led to their ascension and it’s an album I still need to acquire.

Along comes Ace of Spades, everyone should know that album, however, I completely understand Lemmy here, he talks at this point, about how while it’s a great album, he says he’s tired of the title track. They’ll play it live for the fans but he doesn’t like it when some fans only seem to get psyched for that song, like if they were to run into him at a bar and mention what songs they like or people only know him and the band for that song.

I get that, it’s like Lordi wanting to be seen for more than just HRH and Eurovision. That led him [Lemmy] to cut back on public accessibility, especially if some drunk dude sang “Ace of Spades” in his ear, exasperating him as he said!

I enjoyed the parts about each album, in fact, some songs he said he liked the most, are some favourites of mine too like from the Rock and Roll album, I too love “Dogs” and “Deaf Forever” from the Orgasmatron album. There was always a problem or two with the recording or mixing any Motorhead album as Lemmy stated, but it didn’t seem to him that there was any bad album in his eyes.

When he talks about tours and other public appearances, I can tell that reading those parts seemed to be his favourite thing to talk about, whether it was the crazy stunts, the amount of acid, or the girls, he loved to talk about it. With our mutual love for literature, it’s easy for me to read something and detect the enthusiasm in one’s writing easily, it’s sad that newer generations don’t seem to have the same ability.

Band members came and went, it was like Philthy and Eddie just lost interest eventually which was sad because the lineup with them is pretty iconic, and they had Robbo who only played on Another Perfect Day, but Lemmy did say while that album was good, there were problems on Robbo’s end.

I think once Phil Campbell was recruited, things started to look up. I would say the same for Wurzel but after a while, Lemmy stated that something changed about the latter and he could never figure out why. It’s also no wonder some of my friends consider Mikkey Dee to be one of the best drummers in the world because Lemmy wrote about how Mikkey was a professional and showed commitment from day one so it’s no wonder he stuck around until the end!

Toward the end of the book, I began to notice right away, and it started with the chapter where Lemmy wrote about how he moved to the US, he was beginning to see the flaws in our society as he got older. Nobody got his sense of humour in the states as they did back in the UK, he didn’t like how people were trying to ignore, erase, or censor the past instead of acknowledging and learning from it and he used his collection of WWII memorabilia as an example. We can’t ignore that the war happened and what Germany did, we can’t undo it or pretend it never happened by taking down monuments. The only thing we can do is remember that it did happen, and learn from those mistakes.

He was always fascinated with history and collected a lot of memorabilia. A lot of it was German. But, he was strongly against what the Nazi party did, yet he collected that stuff anyway because he thought it was cool looking. There’s nothing wrong with that, and people today can’t seem to separate things the way Lemmy does and the way I do with passions of my own.

Oh and I forgot to mention that aside from him loving women, he also had a lot of respect for them and stated that whenever he saw women trying to make their way in rock music, he would often help them out by writing songs or even playing with them. Like in the earlier years, he worked a lot with a band called Girlschool and did songs for Wendy O Williams and Lita Ford. He believed that women deserved equal opportunity in the music industry as did men, so it’s no wonder one of my friends says he was a total gentleman and that’s one big contributing factor that made me develop a crush on him! It’s not mentioned anywhere in the book, but I remember seeing an image on the Internet of him with Amy Lee on his lap and thought it was super cute.

In conclusion, he keeps it brief but mentions that he’s not happy about what the world has become and why we have grown to be motivated by hatred so much or why people outgrow things just like that, like listening to rock music.

I never understood it either, Lemmy, people are weird. If you were still alive and we could sit and talk about these things, we’d probably be talking for hours about such things and our love for literature!

That’s the thing, Lemmy consumed so many drugs, and alcohol, and smoked a lot, but not once in this book did it seem like he lost his shit from all of it, I guess he just knew how to keep it under control which is a rare talent.

Even when he’s not doing things like smoking or having a Jack or Coke, he also spends a lot of time reading, which is time well-spent as a fellow bookaholic. As he said, reading allows you to use your imagination! That is something I have been preaching long before I became a Motörhead fan.

I could go on forever about these things but I don’t want this to turn into a long essay! Reading the epilogue made me cry toward the second half when his health began to deteriorate even when he started to take steps to improve, but the Grim Reaper still struck. Lemmy still went out like the legend he was, playing his last show seventeen days before he died and he also went out painlessly, in the comfort of home, which is how anyone would want to die if they knew their time was coming. But, he wouldn’t want us to be sad, he’d want us to celebrate how influential he was and keep the music alive in his legacy.

This was a wonderful and authentic autobiography to read with a lot of hilarious and outrageous moments but I enjoyed every second of it. Love you, Lemmy. 💘 You may be gone but you are always with us. I am going to blast your music and wear my Motörhead shirts with pride in your honour because that is what you’d want all of us to do, to keep it alive and remember the legend that you always will be, wherever you are right now.

Rating: 5 out of 5.



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