(Source: RAW magazine 1989)
(These were Lemmy's comments following a sharpened coin being thrown at him onstage, which sliced his hand to the bone and put him in hospital.)
"There is something going on in Rock 'n' Roll that I do not understand. And this is not the simple one liner it may appear. I have been hearing Rock 'n' Roll since 1956. I was only 11 then, but I KNEW WHAT IT MEANT! Now, I'm not sure. I still think I know what most of it means, but there is one bit that has baffled me completely.
It is also no excuse to figure to yourselves that: 'Shit, this guy's a has been/too old/out of touch/a moron'. I am none of these things, and when we toured in the autumn of '88 with Slayer and Overkill, they felt the same as I do, so pay bloody attention, o.k?
Tom Araya, Jeff Hannemann, Bob The Blitzer and everyone else on the tour was astounded to find that in every audience (yes, EVERY one) there were people who wished to either a) harm the band, perhaps tragically/mortally or b) harm themselves. Sorry if you think mr priorities are wrong; I think they're fine!
In Austin Texas (although there were lots of other gigs, like Tulsa, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, etc.) some people (not all, we realise) apparently came to the show armed! I say this because the shit that arrived on-stage at a few of the places was not available anywhere in the building: Iron bars, coins, bullets, open fish gutting knives...
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? Do you people (obviously I am only talking to the perpetrators) want to harm us?
Why Do you think it's tough? Do you think it's cool? Do you want to see someone (who is playing the music he loves in order for you to have a good night's Rock 'n' Roll music and incidentally has no pension scheme), maimed for life?
Do you want to blind me/us? Do you want me to stop the show? Do you want to be beaten to death? If your answer to the last three questions is 'yes' then you are obviously messed up. But if it's 'yes' to one and two, then give me the chance to help with three, O.K?!!
We are up on stage with nearly all the lights in the place shining on us, right? The audience is in the dark, and you can get away with anything with those kind of odds. If you like a band it's moronic and stupid to do it. If you hate them, give 'em a chance to hit you in return.
There is of course, another angle. You are giving ammunition to the ENEMY. Do you know who the enemy is? Or are you too busy slamming to notice? The enemy is always waiting for Rock 'n' Roll to fuck up so he can stop us. Have you heard of the PMRC in America? Have you read what they want to do? The fact their ambitions run contrary to the the US constitution is irrelevant when you figure where they live and who they talk to.
Soon, someone is going to screw up real good. Soon, if this violence shit continues, somebody is going to get killed.
Listen up dimwits. I'm not your parents (I believe that if your parents like it, it's suspect). I'm not a coward, I'm not a cissy, I'm a man not a boy, I work hard and I love what I do and I'm proud of it. If you don't like what I do, that's fine with me, but tell me face to face, if you have to tell me. Stop hurting people.
In my time, I've seen the most exciting bands in the history of Rock. I've worked for Hendrix for a short time on his crew, and saw the Beatles at the Cavern; to quote Little Richard: "Wherever you're goin' I've been and I'm back"! I've never felt the urge to throw anything at any stage I've seen, (O.k, I threw my bra at Debbie Harry) and I don't get it.
A couple of years ago in Milwaukee we were playing away when some hero decided he was gonna come up on stage. I don't know why, he didn't sing or play nothing! Unfortunately, after his big moment, he leapt majestically back into the arms of his admiring friends and, on the way, one of his large heroic boots bravely smashed a young girl's nose and teeth all over her boyfriend's shirt.
Classy, huh? I'll bet he boasted about how he got on stage all week. I don't think she was saying much. I always figured that to be on stage you had to work at it; sing, or play something, ya know?
Have fun, get drunk, get laid, shout it out loud, be foolish, fall in love, vomit all over yourself, split your trousers, explore the wonders of the modern world. But if you think that violence is smart, or if you think you have to be out of it to the extent of being completely unaware of what you're doing, this does not mean that you're free. This means you should be in the rubber room.
I walked off stage in New Orleans a while ago. I walked off because I was being spat on. SPAT ON? For what? fun? Fun for who? Not me, buddy! I told 'em to stop or we were gonna leave. They carried on doing it, so I left. Logic at work. I did try to get back out, but the same idiots kept doing it, so away we went again. This time we didn't come back.
Just perfect. Now they had an excuse for a real good cry. All those clever boys who could spit in a straight line smashed the place up. I figure that's what they wanted in the first place.
What I couldn't underand was why two car-loads of fans followed us back to the hotel and told me I should give them their money back.
I'll tell you what I told them, shall I? I said: "Since I announced twice that if the throwing missiles and spitting didn't stop we were leaving, WHY, when you saw someone else about to throw something, didn't you STOP 'IM He's about to stop YOUR SHOW TOO right?"
I can only talk to the people doing it, who number 40, but 1500 of you are STANDING ALL AROUND THEM! think about it.
I love Rock 'n' Roll. It's my life. I believe I speak for most bands. Some dare not say this 'cos they think they'll upset the crowd, or be considered cissies or some shit like that, but I believe we're not far away from someone being blinded for life, maybe killed.
Not me. I don't deserve to be spat on. Not by anyone. If that makes me a canyass in your book, it's the wrong book.
Well, that's enough of that cheerful shit. I'll keep it up if you will.
History repeats itself.
History repeats itself.
History repeats itself.