Believe it or not, Lemmy is turning 65. To celebrate, the lead singer of Motorhead is now the subject of a documentary that looks back on the rock 'n' roll life of a man who once claimed: "If we moved in next door to you, your lawn would die." The movie was included in the London Film Festival and Chris Sullivan was in the front row...
The last time I saw Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister, main man singer bassist and songwriter for Motorhead, he told me someone was making a film about him.
“I don’t know why the fuck he thinks anybody should be interested in watching a movie about an old hairy bastard like me…” said the typically self-deprecating legend.
“I can understand why people want to see me on stage cos we do great fucking rock ‘n’ roll but to want to watch me going about me daily business they must be a really fucking sad fuck.”
Well I must admit that I am one of those sad fucks. And as Lemmy is one of the funniest, most down to earth, most ordinary, most extraordinary rock icons one might ever meet, I know that any film that follows him from wherever to whenever and has him espousing his theories will be hilarious.
So there was I queuing up outside the LFF screening at the NFT on London’s South Bank to see the film, simply entitled Lemmy.
Directed by Greg Oliver and Wes Orshoski, who spent three years in the company of the man, the film allows Lemmy to reflect candidly on a rocking and rolling life that, fuelled by enough booze to float an aircraft carrier, enough drugs to sink it and enough women to man it and two packs of Marlboro a day, seems to have left him in surprisingly good shape.
Indeed, the movie does a good job of exposing the real Lemmy, who is actually no different from the public Lemmy, the private Lemmy or any other Lemmy. It also shows that he’s not about to change.
For example: he’s the man known for collecting Nazi memorabilia but he abhors right wing politics. “I’ve had six black girlfriends,” he explains. “If I’m a Nazi, I’m the worst one you’ve ever met.”
The film also features a plethora of talking heads (be silly not to) from Ozzy Osbourne to Mick Jones, Alice Cooper, Dave Grohl, Peter Hook, Slash and Jarvis Cocker who line up to pay tribute, many purely telling their fave Lemmy anecdotes.
As for the film, it could be shorter but like all great music docos, it works whether you like the music or not.
After Lemmy, I had the choice of out on the tiles or home. But seeing as I was already close to my house, I decided to renounce the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for a change and for the first time in over a month I was home by 1am. The Mrs almost had a heart attack when I got into bed; she thought I was an intruder.