Hard to believe, but it’s been almost a year since the passing of Ian Fraser Kilmister. As we approach the anniversary of his death, we here at Metal Injection thought we’d reflect on some of the ways that Lemmy’s indomitable spirit continues marching on. We’ve got a lifetime of original Motorhead tunes to keep us company, but for this list, we thought we’d celebrate some of Lemmy’s favorite songs from other artists, songs he loved enough to actually cover and put his own unique stamp on. Links to the artist's original rendition of each song have been attached in the title for your viewing/listening pleasure.
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates'1959 toe tapper, "Please Don't Touch"
juxtaposed with Motorhead & Girlschool's 1981 grimy version:
So enjoy this trip down Lemmy lane and spend some time with some of the tunes he loved the most.
The Sex Pistols were Britain’s bad boys for a hot minute back in the day. Legend has it Lemmy was once tasked with teaching Sid Vicious to play bass; so it makes perfect sense that Lemmy, a man who spent his entire life setting rule books ablaze, would be down to cover his old chums. Also, how rad does Lemmy's grizzled voice sound doing Johnny Rotten's iconic "Noooo fuuuuuutre" line?
The man who scored countless groupies and played gigs with Motorhead until his final days, knows a thing or two about one night stands AND being in a rock ‘n’ roll band. AC/DC have always relied on gruff sounding frontmen, tough blokes not necessarily renowned for their "singing" abilities; which put's any AC/DC jam right up Lemmy's alley.
Sorry Mick, but when Lemmy says “I was born in a cross fire hurricane,” by god you believe him. Motorhead went on to cover another classic Stones anthem, "Sympathy For The Devil" on their last studio album, Bad Magic; but for our money, their rockin version of Jumpin' Jack Flash takes precedence. It's a gas, gas, gas…
Lemmy and Phil of Motorhead invaded Late Night with David Letterman back in 1991 and performed a wild cover of “Let It Rock” with Paul Shaffer’s backing band. How cool is it watching a relatively youthful Lemmy paying homage to his early rock roots…and watch Shaffer got nuts on piano!
Everyone knows "Louie Louie." It's one of the most recognizable songs ever written…which should come as no surprise then that it's also one of the most covered songs of all time as well. The Kingsmen helped break Richard Berry's tune into the pop culture lexicon with their 1963 rendition, but after Lemmy and the boys in Motorhead got their paws on the track with their 1978 cover, it kind of belongs to them now.
Fun fact, Lemmy loved Buddy Holly. A lot. So does this here author. Lemmy’s rockabilly supergroup/sideproject Head Cat allowed him to rock out to some of his earliest influences, like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and of course, Buddy Holly. Imagine Lemmy and Buddy jamming together in the afterlife? Sounds good to us.
More on the next page.