Watch Lemmy prove how he was an anti-gatekeeping king while sharing his opinion on Motörhead copycats

THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION PART II: THE METAL YEARS Lemmy interview
(Image credit: Penelope Spheeris)

Lemmy was known for many things. On top of being the gravel-throated, bass playing frontman of Motörhead, he was regarded as one of the most badass men in the business and an immortal legend of rock'n'roll. As the knuckleheaded Rex stated in 1994 rock comedy Airheads: "Lemmy is God".

Lemmy's towering reputation was borne out in countless interviews which put his no-fucks-given attitude and articulate charisma on full display. One in particular which captured his temperament was included in the 1988 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, which chronicled the heavy metal scene of the late 1980s in Los Angeles. The documentary also contains interviews with the likes of Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss and Megadeth, and serves as the second instalment of a trilogy directed by Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World). The first instalment (released in 1981) investigated LA's hardcore punk rock scene of 1979–1980, while The Decline of Western Civilization III (1998) documented the punk lifestyles of homeless youths in Los Angeles in the late 1990s.

Part II: The Metal Years featured an array of interviews which are legendary to this day, including Chris Holmes gulping down alcohol in a pool, and an amusing scene of Ozzy serving up breakfast in a leopard print robe while discussing sobriety. While Lemmy's interview didn't contain the same comedic factor as his good friend Ozzy's scatter-brained kitchen capers, his discussion with Spheeris is iconic due to its simplicity: the man showed himself to be an effortlessly cool, anti-gatekeeping king who continually remained unbothered by anything and everything.

As the filmmaker asks the rocker: "What do you think about the pretty rock 'n' roll stars?", Lemmy nonchalantly replies, in-between drags of his cigarette, "Good luck to them if they're pretty. I wish I was."

Then, when questioned about Motorhead copycats, he coolly says: "Good luck to them. Maybe they'll do somethin' we can copy later."

Elsewhere, when asked why he decided to get into the rock 'n' roll scene, Lemmy declares "'cause I noticed that you got lots of girls", before adding how he doesn't think people take women seriously enough in the industry. 

As a final piece of advice to kids who are trying to "make it" as musicians, the frontman offers: "Well that's what I did. And why not? Go for it. If you think you've got it, shove it out, run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it". 

Wise words from a timeless legend. Check out the interview below:

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.