The Real Reason Lemmy Kilmister Hated Motörhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’
via EXIT Festival / Youtube
Every composer hopes to discover that enchanting tune that resonates with millions of fans, prompting them to passionately join in. While this achievement may require a lifetime of dedication, nothing can match the exhilaration of witnessing thousands of people attending a live performance and echoing the songwriter’s lyrics in flawless harmony between musician and audience.
However, Lemmy Kilmister had a different perspective and chose to maintain a certain emotional detachment from some of Motörhead’s popular songs.
The Unexpected Journey
From the late 1960s onwards, Lemmy regarded the rock and roll way of life as an innate part of his identity. He initially joined the music scene as a roadie for musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, without any intention of becoming a bass guitarist himself.
However, fortune smiled upon him when he stumbled upon an opportunity that would change his life. Someone informed the members of Hawkwind that Lemmy was capable of playing the bass guitar, leading him to become the vocalist and bassist for the band, performing space rock music.
Due to conflicts in artistic vision and several encounters with law enforcement related to drug-related incidents, Lemmy decided to pursue a solo career, aiming to produce some of the most audacious and unconventional music he had ever experienced. He drew inspiration from the outrageous performances of artists from his early days, such as Little Richard.
Beyond the One-Hit Wonder
Despite dedicating himself fully to each Motörhead album, Lemmy appeared to be distressed by the fact that he was primarily recognized for just one song, feeling constrained by this limited perception of his musical identity.
Even though the majority of the public lost interest in Motörhead after their initial success, influential metal bands worldwide paid close attention. Beyond the realm of hard rock, renowned acts such as Metallica regarded Motörhead as the ultimate benchmark, demonstrating their admiration by frequently performing covers of songs like “Overkill” and even inviting Lemmy to collaborate on the track “Damage Case” at a later time.
The affection extended beyond the realm of rock music as well, as demonstrated by Ice-T who referenced the lyrics of “Ace of Spades.” During the Lemmy documentary, he commented:
“You win some, you lose some, it’s all the same to me. I kinda live by that.”