Motorhead Facts and Career Highlights
In Motorhead’s 40 years rocking the planet, they’ve accumulated quite the reputation. Here are some fun facts about the legendary band.
– Motorhead Grammy nominations: Best Metal Performance in 1991, 2000 and 2005.
– Lemmy was a former roadie for Jimi Hendrix. He formed Motorhead in 1975, naming the group after the last song he wrote for his previous band, Hawkwind.
– On February 22, 2004, Rock history was made when Motorhead performed at London’s Royal Opera House. This unique event is the curtain-raiser for Visit London’s One Amazing Week, featuring a series of ground-breaking “firsts” in the worlds of theatre, art, fashion and sport, celebrating the diversity of London and its cultural life.
– To celebrate Motorhead’s 20th Anniversary in 1995, Metallica honored their idol by performing a set of Motorhead covers at the famous Whiskey A GoGo on the Sunset Strip, every one of them dressed up as Lemmy, with wigs and clothes, right down to his tattoos! Lemmy joined them onstage for a few tunes and the crowd went wild!
– In 1998, Metallica released their 5xPlatinum collection of covers called Garage, Inc. The album included an entire section of Motorhead covers under the moniker of “Motorheadache ’95.” Tracks include; “Overkill,” “Damage Case,” “Stone Dead Forever” and “Too Late Too Late.”
– Lemmy & Ozzy: Lemmy co-wrote four of Ozzy Osbourne’s biggest hits on Ozzy’s double platinum No More Tears, including “I Don’t Want To Change The World,” “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” “Desire” and “Hellraiser.” Lemmy also co-penned a track on Ozzy’s follow up release, Ozzmosis, called “See You On The Other Side.”
– That collaboration gave birth to the Motorhead classic, “I Ain’t No Nice Guy After All” on Motorhead’s March Or Die, which also features Slash on guitar. Ozzy sang on this song with Lemmy and appeared in the video. Motorhead recorded their own version of “Hellraiser” for Clive Barkers’ Hell Raiser 2.
– Lars from Rancid will be interviewing Lemmy for a piece he’s writing for the Alternative Press, paying homage to Lemmy. The article will run in the spring.
– “Lemmy & Friends” is a collaboration Lemmy is currently putting together for Motorhead’s European record label, and includes members of Metallica, Sum 41, Rancid, Dave Grohl, Reverend Horton Heat, The Damned, and Young Heart Attack. Release date TBA.
– Slash and Ice-T have done songs with Motorhead, including “You Better Run.” This song was recently reinterpreted by Motorhead with a few lyric changes for inclusion in the hit SpongeBob SquarePants movie. The track was renamed “You Better Swim.” It is the only song in the film other than music from Avril Lavigne.
– In 2003, Motorhead were inducted in Hollywood’s Rockwalk, which is dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of rock ‘n roll.
– WWE Wrestling Champion “Triple H” called on Motorhead to record his characters’ theme song. The track “Play The Game” is a fan favorite and appears on the WWE album. The album went gold just a few weeks after its release. With the success of the song, Motorhead were invited to perform the track at Wrestlemania in Houston. The performance was done live in front of more then 70,000 fans and beamed via pay-per-view to millions more. Motorhead will once again be performing for Triple H at the WWE’s Wrestle Mania 21 at Staples Center April 3, 2005.
– Lemmy’s long-awaited autobiography “White Line Fever” was released in the U. K. to much fan and critical praise in 2003. It was released in North America in 2004.
– For Gene Simmons’ “Rock School” TV show in the U.K. this past November, Gene taught a class of classically trained school kids in the ways of rock and roll, and as a finale, the kids opened for Motorhead at The Hammersmith Apollo. Lemmy, Mikkey and Phil were all asked to evaluate the kid’s performances and give them advice drawn from their decades of rock ‘n roll experience.
– Mikkey Dee is one of the most respected and talented metal drummers. He has also played for King Diamond and Dokken. He has also recorded with metal veterans, Helloween, on their critically and fan acclaimed 2003 release, Rabbit Don’t Come Easy.
– In February 2004, Phil Campbell was voted #20 on a list of the Top 100 greatest Welsh heroes of all time. He ranked higher on the list then fellow Welsh heroes Roald Dahl (35), Anthony Hopkins (44), T.E. Lawrence (52) and King Arthur (70).
– Motorhead are regulars on several of the biggest annual metal festivals staged throughout Europe. Included on their regular runs are the Wacken Open Air festival, Sweden Rock, Rock Am Ring and many others. They have also played in South America, Japan, Australia and Russia. They played with the Ramones in South America, where the Ramones performed the Motorhead classic “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”
– Guinness World Records once listed Motorhead as the loudest band in the world.
– In 2003, Lemmy was awarded UK magazine Metal Hammer’s first ever “The Spirit of Hammer” award by the magazine’s readership.
– In 2004, Lemmy participated in Dave Grohl’s star studded side project, Probot. The Lemmy co-penned track “Shake Your Blood” was selected as the album’s first single/video. MTV did a special Headbangers Ball episode that focused on Dave Grohl’s Probot release. The majority of the episode was a praise-fest for Lemmy.
– For Motorhead’s 25th Anniversary in 2000, the band performed a special sold out show at London’s venerable Brixton Academy. Highlights of the evening included performances by Brian May (Queen), Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe, Life of Agony),”Fast” Eddie Clarke, Ace (Skunk
Anansie). The highlight of the performance was the unveiling of the famous “Bomber” lighting rig.
– Motorhead’s No Sleep At All went straight to #1 on release in 1981. That and Ace Of Spades are both platinum. The song, “Ace Of Spades” was a Top 10 hit in the U. K., as was their collaboration with Girlschool on a track called “Please Don’t Touch” from their St. Valentine’s Massacre EP.
– Lemmy was contacted by Henry Rollins and asked to participate in the creation of the “Rise Above” album in 2002. The album was Henry’s vision for raising money for the famous West Memphis Three Defense fund. Lemmy provided vocals on the Black Flag classic track, “Thirsty and Miserable.”
– Motorhead were special guests on Metallica and Guns N’ Roses’ 1992 stadium tour.
– Ice-T and Whitfield Crane joined Motorhead in a new version of the Motorhead classic “Born To Raise Hell” for inclusion in the movie Airheads. There was also a video released in conjunction with the film.
There’s more to come!