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by Chuck Eddy

October 29, 2013

Lemmy's Universe

by Chuck Eddy  |  October 29, 2013

Sometimes it seems like Lemmy Kilmister has been Motörhead's master since the dawn of time, but that's technically not the case: He only just started the band 38 years ago! And though they've been around ever since -- their new album Aftershock, their 21st according to some tabulations, is quite decent -- Lemmy hasn't been much for sleeping even when he's not busy with them. This playlist compiles a bunch of his non-Motörhead adventures.

Most famously, he played bass in Hawkwind from 1971 until 1975, and occasionally yelled for them too; the mix's first two selections, a pre-Motörhead "Motorhead" and "Watcher," have him doing both. And well before Hawkwind, from 1965 until 1967, he guitared for Brit beat group The Rockin' Vickers, likewise sampled here twice. From there, the playlist branches out, first with "solo" cover tributes to The Beatles, Chuck Berry (featuring Billy Gibbons and Dave Grohl), Elvis (with assorted Ramones and Stray Cats), KISS, Ozzy, Iron Maiden, Queen and Black Flag.

Two tunes (including a Sweet cover) from Motordam, Motörhead's late '70s throwdown with The Damned, come next, followed by a tune Lemmy wrote for (and here performs with) The Ramones, then two collabs (one originally released under the moniker Headgirl) with Girlschool. Lemmy, forever a fan of the ladies, also lends a warty hand to female-dominant rock acts Doro, Queen V, Skew Siskin, and Plasmatic Wendy O. Williams, with whom he interprets a Tammy Wynette classic. A Merle Haggard cover with (male) California punks Throw Rag follows that.

Next, several more cameos, with glamsters, mohawkers and headbangers of numerous stripes: Nashville Pussy, Jetboy, Saxon, Michael Monroe from Hanoi Rocks, Slash, Hair of the Dog and The Warriors. For most of them, having Lemmy sit in must've been the thrill of a lifetime.

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