Motörhead is one of the most influential bands in rock music history. The band was formed in 1975 by bassist, singer and songwriter Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, who was the sole constant member of the group. Motörhead’s classic lineup was completed with guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. The band released their self-titled debut album in 1977.
1. Lemmy was originally a member of Hawkwind
Lemmy is best known as the frontman, bassist and primary songwriter of Motörhead, but he actually started his career as a member of space rock pioneers Hawkwind. He joined the band in 1972 and played on their landmark albums Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974) and Warrior On The Edge Of Time (1975). He was fired from the band in 1975 after being arrested for drug possession while on tour in Canada.
2. Motörhead’s first album was almost entirely improvised
Motörhead’s self-titled debut album was recorded in just four days, with the majority of the material being improvised in the studio. The only song that was fully written and rehearsed before entering the studio was “Vibrator”, which Lemmy had originally penned for Hawkwind.
3. “Ace Of Spades” is based on a deck of cards
The classic Motörhead song “Ace Of Spades” is based on a deck of playing cards that Lemmy kept with him while on tour. He would often use the cards to entertain himself and his bandmates when they were travelling between shows.
4. Motörhead have a beer named after them
In 2013, English brewery Hobgoblin released a Motörhead-branded beer called “Röad Crew”. The ale was created in collaboration with Lemmy himself and is available in both bottled and canned form.
5. Lemmy was once offered the job of singing for Ozzy Osbourne
In the early 1980s, Ozzy Osbourne was looking for a new singer to front his band following the firing of original vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Lemmy was one of the singers that was considered for the role, but he ultimately turned it down as he didn’t want to leave Motörhead.
6. “Overkill” is the band’s most popular song
The song “Overkill” from Motörhead’s 1979 album of the same name is the band’s most popular and enduring tune. The track has been covered by numerous artists over the years, including Metallica, Megadeth andAnthrax.
7. Lemmy was once arrested for urinating on The Alamo
In 1980, Lemmy was arrested for urinating on The Alamo, a treasured landmark in San Antonio, Texas. He was later released without charge after it was determined that he had simply been relieving himself in an alleyway behind the historic site.
8. “Iron Fist” is named after a Marvel Comics character
The title track from Motörhead’s 1982 album Iron Fist is named after the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The song was used as the theme music for the 1980s animated series The Incredible Hulk.
9. Lemmy wrote an autobiography called White Line Fever
In 2002, Lemmy published his autobiography White Line Fever: The Autobiography of Motörhead. The book was co-written with journalist Janiss Garza and chronicles Lemmy’s life and career up to that point.
10. Motörhead have their own slot machine game
In 2012, video slot game developer NetEnt released a Motörhead-themed slot machine game. The game features the band’s iconic logo and artwork, as well as various audio samples from their songs.