We can only hope that at some point in everybody’s life, we find somebody who loves us as much as Lemmy loved the Ramones. It’s hardly a secret that the New York City punk legends were a massive influence on Motörhead and the wholesome feelings went both ways. In fact, as the bands ascended the ranks of their respective genres, Lemmy and Ramones frontman Joey Ramone formed an authentic friendship forged by both a mutual respect and a shared love of the early roots of rock and roll. Lest there be any doubt, Motörhead’s 1916 album includes the track Ramones, a punchy speed metal tribute which the Ramones themselves covered regularly until their final shows in 1996. In Hey Ho, Let’s Go: The Story Of The Ramones, Joey described that track as, “the ultimate honor — like John Lennon writing a song for you.”
Which brings us to this wonderful clip from a September, 1992 episode of MTV’s alternative music show, 120 Minutes. In the segment, MTV presenter Dave Kendall is chatting with Joey Ramone between music videos and at 5:36, they bring out the Motörhead frontman. Joey introduces him by saying, “He’s coming out right now. It’s Lemmy Kilmister, from Motörhead — my favourite band.”
“Joseph!” says Lemmy cheerily, plopping down next to him. Addressing what, to some, might seem an unlikely alliance between the oft-warring factions of punk and metal, Joey explains, “There’s nobody like either of our bands. Both of our bands have gone the distance and maintained their integrity. I mean, Motörhead never let me down and I feel like they’re the most exciting band – besides ourselves,” shaking hands with Lemmy.
It certainly wasn’t the first time the Ramones frontman had made such comments. A year before, Joey told an interviewer, “I feel like the Ramones and Motörhead are the only two bands that matter, y’know?”
Things get spicy when Kendall asks why the bands had never toured together. There’s a bit of banter, where Lemmy implies that they don’t sell enough records for that kind of tour and over the protests of Kendall, Lemmy says, “We don’t care, do we, Joe?”
“No,” says Joey, drily noting, “Hey, we weren’t invited to the MTV awards last month...”
“To hell with them,” Lemmy scoffs. “MTV Awards...Not a bloody mention of Motörhead or the Ramones, right? Makes me sick!”
“That’s right,” says Joey. “And where would they be without us?”
“Where would they be?” asks Lemmy. “In the dumper! Is that controversial enough for you, or shall I carry on?” Lemmy asks while looking straight into the camera.
At 6:46, Kendall switches gears as they head into a commercial, saying, “Stick around for brand new videos from Suzanne Vega and the Gin Blossoms, plus Morrisey live...”
“Won’t that be great? Yes it will.” deadpans Lemmy, again looking straight at the camera.
“We know you mean that sincerely, Lemmy,” says Kendall.
“No, I don’t,” he laughs.
It’s a genuinely fun bit of history to see these two legends, still in their primes, having an authentically easy and interesting chat about each other’s music and other artists on the scene at that time.
Watch the whole interview below