Remembering Lemmy: The Bad Influence – Ross Halfin

Photographer Ross Halfin recalls Mr Kilmister’s instant cure for jetlag.

I’d gone to the Old Waldorf club in San Francisco to meet up with the band. As they were waiting for soundcheck, I suggested we shoot outside in front of the venue.

I’d only got in from London the night before and was super-jet-lagged. Lemmy looked at me and said: “Let me help you, I’ve got the best cure for that.” He then pulled out a large plastic bag of white powder, and a huge knife. Sticking the knife in the powder, he said: “Have some of this.” I snorted two small piles of it. So did Lemmy. “How is it?” he grinned. By now I was crying. I felt like I was about to take off in a rocket. Lemmy looked perfectly normal. I then took this photo [below] outside the club; it was four p.m. Looking at it now, Lemmy looks as if he’s about to take off as well.

We shot for thirty minutes and then I went in to shoot soundcheck. By this time I was flying – well, I thought I was flying; my teeth were clamped together with the G-force.

I vividly remember that the show seemed slow, even though they were playing full-on Motörhead. I’d fully taken off by then. How does the song go? ‘Motörhead, remember me now, Motörhead, all night…’

And I was up all night.

"Lemmy looked like he was about to take off as well." San Fran, 1980.

"Lemmy looked like he was about to take off as well." San Fran, 1980. (Image credit: Ross Halfin)

Remembering Lemmy: The Next-Door Neighbour – Erin Elizabeth

I was fortunate to live right next door to Lemmy for the better part of a decade, from the mid-90s into the 2000s, in West Hollywood, California – on the 9000 block of Harratt Street in Los Angeles. It was a quiet (for the location) little dead-end street right next to the 9000 building on Sunset and just a stone’s throw away from the Whisky, Roxy, Troubadour and, of course, the Rainbow, where Lemmy would walk nearly every night for a nightcap.

I remember when I first moved in, barely in my twenties. I wasn’t sure what he was like, and was a little nervous living next door to a rock star with the reputation for being a ‘bad-ass’. But my fears quickly evaporated, as it turned out that this intimidating-looking man, with the British accent, was quite the gentleman.

He always wore his Speedos to the pool. I know it’s quite normal overseas, but it’s still not usual in the US. New neighbours would do a double-take.

I didn’t venture into his apartment (though most of my friends in the building had checked it out – some called it controversial), but it was a wild contrast having Ellen Corby (Grandma Walton in The Waltons) on one side of me, Lemmy from Motörhead on the other, and across the hall Sherman and Sherman, writers of the scores for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins.

Despite never being close friends, we knew each other on a first-name basis, and I learned that if I was getting home late and bumped into him that I was as safe as could be. On our beautiful, no-through-traffic street off of Sunset Blvd, Lemmy wouldn’t have let anyone mess with me.

Lemmy was a good guy and a music legend.

* For more from Erin, visit:

Tune in, turn off: Callaghan and Kilmister

Tune in, turn off: Callaghan and Kilmister

Remembering Lemmy: The Radio Producer – Ian Callaghan

Back in the day, I produced Bruce Dickinson’s rock show on BBC 6 Music. When Motörhead released Motörizer, I fixed up an interview between Bruce and Lemmy. It started like this…

Bruce: “You look well. Much better than when I last saw you.”

Lemmy: “Yeah, I wasn’t well then.”

Bruce: “What was wrong with you?”

Lemmy: “I had a heart murmur.”

Bruce: “What did it say?!”

Lemmy [whispering]: “Yer fucked!”

This was around the time of the whole Russell Brand thing, so there was no way I could use this in the show. So sadly it hit the cutting room floor.

Remembering Lemmy: