After being sacked from Hawkwind in 1975, supposedly for “doing the wrong drugs,” Lemmy Kilmister decided to form a new band, originally to be called Bastard. Realizing that this would preclude them from commercial acceptance, he eventually settled on Motörhead, after a song he had written for Hawkwind. His stated aim was for the outfit to be “the dirtiest rock n’ roll band in the world”. The name Motörhead was derived from a slang term for an amphetamine user.
While the band are typically classified as heavy metal or speed metal, Kilmister has refused such labels, preferring to describe Motorhead’s style simply as “rock and roll.” Motörhead’s lyrics cover such topics as war, good versus evil, abuse of power, promiscuous sex, substance abuse, and “life on the road”. Motörhead’s approach has remained the same over the band’s career and still does about 150 shows every year.
They are widely recognized as progenitors of thrash metal, a fusion of heavy metal and what was soon to become hardcore punk. Consequently they influenced countless rock, punk rock, and heavy metal bands that followed.
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Series: Röadkill Motörhead
Image rights: Pep Bonet, Courtesy of ILEX Gallery, Rome
Röadkill Motörhead, Texts by: Slash, Brian May, Nicko Mcbrain, lemmy Kilmisterm Steffan Chirazi, Fonart Publishing, 2012