10 Lemmy Kilmister Facts You May Have Not Known

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Brief Introduction on Lemmy

The face of heavy metal and the epitome of a rockstar – Lemmy Kilmister was born on December 24, 1945, in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England as Ian Fraser Kilmister

Unlike his later life and musical career, little is known about Lemmy’s childhood and family life. The most we know is that his father was an ex-Royal Air Force chaplain and concert pianist who separated from his mother when he was only three months old.

Kilmister is best known for founding Motörhead and for his raspy, raw singing voice combined with his distinguishable outfit. Often praised as “one of the most recognizable voices in rock”.

However, before founding Motörhead in 1975, Lemmy had already played with a number of bands, including Hawkwind in the 60s. He did not achieve mainstream fame until the late 70s – early 80s when he released multiple albums with Motörhead.

Albums such as ‘Motörhead’, ‘Overkill’, ‘Bomber’, ‘Ace of Spades, were big hits in the metal community and reached legendary status. Albums that gave birth to one of the most loyal fan bases in the world.

The success of the band was achieved by the classic Motorhead trio consisting of Lemmy Kilmister on bass / vocals, Eddie Clarke on guitar, and Phil Taylor on drums.

The great Lemmy Kilmister passed away on December 28 2015, of cancer. Only four days after celebrating his 70th Birthday.

10 Fun Lemmy Kilmister Facts

1. Janet Jackson fan

Lemmy was a big Janet Jackson fan and wanted to record a song with her. However, Sony prohibited him to do so. He intended to record a version of Black Cat with Jackson, but sadly we can’t get always what we want.

In an interview, he said “You could tell from the video that she was having a good time, that this loud rock music is what she really wanted to be doing. I love that fuckin’ song… Great fuckin’ song that but the record company wouldn’t let it be possible”.

2. Kicked out of Hawkwind

Before forming Motorhead in 1975, Lemmy was a bassist for the English rock band Hawkwind. However, because of drug possession in 1975, they kicked him out of the band. Which turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Lemmy and the world since it gave birth to Motörhead!

3. Roadie for Jimi Hendrix

One of the most interesting Lemmy Kilmister facts is that he toured with another rock and roll legend – Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.

The two joined forced in 1967 when Lemmy moved to London where he befriended Hendrix’s bassist Noel Redding. He was a roadie for Jimi and his group for eight months.

At the time Kilmister was also a roadie for another influential rock band – The Nice.

4. Late Bloomer

Although he was a member of several bands and even toured with the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Lemmy wasn’t particularly famous on his own.
He founded Motörhead when he was 30 and didn’t gain popularity until he was 35!

Motivational and interesting Lemmy Kilmister fact, it’s never too late to try and achieve your dreams.

5. Motörhead isn’t the first song he wrote

In fact, ‘Motörhead’ is the name of the last song that Lemmy wrote for his old band Hawkwind. So, technically this isn’t the first song he wrote for Motörhead.

Hawkwind‘s version of ‘Motorhead’ isn’t half bad either!

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6. Origin of the nickname Lemmy

As we all know by now, his real name is Ian Fraser Kilmister, but everyone calls him Lemmy. If you are an older fan, you probably already know one of the most essential facts about Lemmy Killmister – that he loved slot machines.

The story goes like this – as a kid, in order to play more on the slot machines he always asked his friends “Can you lemmy (lend me) a quid?”. Because of that, everyone started calling him Lemmy, and thus, one of the most legendary names in rock and roll came to life.

7. Motörhead wasn’t his first choice for a band name

At first, Lemmy actually considered naming the band ‘Bastard’. But he was told that he’d never get played on the BBC Top of the Pops music chart with that name. Therefore, he changed it to Motörhead – the name of the last song he wrote for Hawkwind which is also slang for a ‘speed (amphetamine) user’.

8. Owned Nazi memorabilia

Similar to David Bowie, Kilmister also had a fixation with Nazism and collected Nazi memorabilia. However, he never identified with the gruesome ideology nor agreed with their views and ideals. Just thought that their stuff, especially the uniforms looked cool.

May interest you: The Thin White Duke – David Bowie’s Fascist Alter Ego

9. Sex legend

As I already said at the beginning of this post, Lemmy was the epitome of rock and roll, a true rockstar to the bone.

According to some estimations, he slept with over 1200 women in his life, even though some claim the number goes beyond two thousand! One of the, if not the most badass Lemmy Kilmister facts.

10. Wrote songs for Ozzy Osbourne

After coming to America with almost nothing in his bank account, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon were the first to approach and help him. 

Since he wasn’t in the best situation financially, they offered him to write a couple of songs for Osbourne. And he did. Lemmy wrote six songs for Ozzy’s sixth studio album ‘No More Tears’ and four of them made the final cut.

A few years later, in an interview, Kilmister said that the money he earned with Osbourne was more than he had ever earned with Motorhead. The royalties from ‘Mama I’m Coming Home alone rivaled his total earnings before the collaboration.

Read Next: 10 Crazy Facts About Ozzy Osbourne

Feature image by: Alejanro Paez