Happy Birthday Lemmy: Watch Motörhead Live In Germany In 2014

Lemmy Kilmister was born Ian Fraser Kilmister on this date in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England in 1945. Kilmister sadly died on December 28, 2015 just four days after his 70th birthday. While Lemmy is most well-known for being the bassist, singer and primary songwriter for the hard rocking band Motorhead, the rock ‘n’ roll legend has been around the block when it comes to rock history.

Growing up not far from Liverpool, Lemmy saw The Beatles perform at the Cavern Club in the early 1960s before Beatlemania began in earnest. After playing in the Rockin’ Vickers, a short-lived but moderately successful UK band that inked a deal with CBS and toured Europe, Lemmy moved from Manchester to London where he shared a flat with the Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding as well as the band’s road manager Neville Chesters. Lemmy soon picked up a gig as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix.

Kilmister continued to play as well. He joined the psychedelic band Opal Butterfly after meeting drummer Simon King. Lemmy went on to join space rock band Hawkwind in 1971 and brought King along with him to play drums. Up until this point, Lemmy had been a guitarist and he tried out for Hawkwind as such, but after the band decided to go with a single guitar attack and the bassist didn’t show up for a gig, Lemmy picked up the four-string, often playing a Rickenbacker and bringing rhythm guitar techniques to the bass like chording and double stops. He also sang lead on a number of Hawkwind songs including their biggest hit “Silver Machine.”

Despite the success, Hawkwind fired Lemmy in 1975 after being arrested at the Canadian border on drug charges. Kilmister then formed the band where he achieved iconic status, Motörhead, that same year, naming the group after a song he had written for Hawkwind and one that would appear on the band’s 1977 self-titled debut album. Nearly 40 years later, on November 12, 2014, Motörhead performed in Düsseldorf for famed German music program Rockpalast.

The show took place just over a year before Kilmister’s death and the hard-living Lemmy had been struggling with health issues for some time. Although he wasn’t 100 percent, Lemmy always gave it 100 percent and felt a deep sense of responsibility to leave it all on stage for his fans. Lemmy and Motörhead — also consisting at the time of guitarist Philip Campbell and drummer Mikkey Dee — kicked off the concert with “Shoot You In The Back” from their landmark 1980 album Ace Of Spades.

The band then turned to material from their 1979 LP, Overkill: with “Damage Case,” “Stay Clean” and “Metropolis.” The set also included classics like “Over The Top” from their 1979 album Bomber, “Killed By Death” and perhaps their most well-known song, “Ace Of Spades,” to close out the set. Kilmister and company returned to encore with “Overkill.”

In honor of Lemmy, watch Motörhead perform from Germany in 2014 below for this edition of Full Show Friday:


Motörhead at Mitsubishi Electric Halle

  • Shoot You in the Back
  • Damage Case
  • Stay Clean
  • Metropolis
  • Over the Top
  • Guitar Solo
  • Suicide
  • Rock It
  • The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
  • Do You Believe
  • Lost Woman Blues
  • Doctor Rock  
  • Just ‘Cos You Got the Power
  • Going to Brazil
  • Killed by Death
  • Ace of Spades
  • Overkill