When I'm shoulder to shoulder in a gig, I don't stop to worry if the sweaty fucker next to me is in it for punk or rock n roll or heavy metal, just as long as he/she is having a good time.
Nicely put Lardy, That's exactly how I see it too.
Someone shouldn't have to wade through a back catalogue of material that is unlike the band's regular stuff prior to listening to a Motorhead album proper in order to 'understand' or enjoy it.
If I'd have heard the Rockin' Vicars prior to hearing Motorhead for the first time, it would never have encouraged me to seek out a Motorhead album. Their stuff is pretty uninspiring (for me at least)
As for the whole Rock'n'Roll/Metal arguement BlackAdder, don't you ever get tired of it?!
I listen to all forms of music, I couldn't give a poop what label you put to any of it. As long as I like it, that's all that matters.
I listen to stuff like Static-X and can't fathom out what the hell Wayne's singing about half the time, but love listening to them anyway. I like Rammestein too and don't speak a word of German. Actually, I'd probably enjoy them less if I did...
You don't have to 'understand' where a band is coming from to enjoy it.