What were Lemmy's interests outside of music?

As if playing in the Loudest Band In The World wasn’t enough, Lemmy further cemented his Metal God status with a range of hobbies that were, simply, metal as fuck. Among these, none inspired more controversy than his huge collection of Nazi memorabilia, which he estimated as having a value of over $250,000.

Sensationalistic interviewers would often bring up this subject, asking if his collection implied Nazi sympathies, which he steadfastly denied. “I only collect the stuff, I didn’t collect the ideas,” he said in 2009. He further explained, “I’ve always liked a good uniform. Throughout history, it’s always been the bad guy who dressed the best. Napoleon, the Confederates, the Nazis… If [England] had a good uniform, I’d collect ours as well, but what does the British Army have? Khaki.”

His passions for WWII memorabilia included Airfix model planes, and were reflected in the full-size replica the band had onstage for their 1979 Bomber tour. At a stop in Dresden, Germany, Lemmy reportedly impishly taunted the crowd by shouting, “Good evening, Dresden! I bet you haven’t seen one of these for a while!”

Though Lemmy also enjoyed a nice game of chess as far back as Motörhead’s tours in the 80s, sex might well have been his favourite non-musical pastime, after losing his virginity at the tender age of 14. At one point he would cop to bedding over 1,000 women, later conceding in 2009, “I’ve actually claimed 1,000. It might be up to 2,000 by now. Between sex and drugs and rock’n’roll, I might put rock’n’roll first, but sex would be a very close second – rock’n’roll is only a means to get more sex.”

Director Wes Orshoski, Lemmy, and some seriously heavy metal

Director Wes Orshoski, Lemmy, and some seriously heavy metal

Once asked if he ever wanted to find true love, Lemmy replied, “Doesn’t everybody? But love is terrible. It makes you act foolish.You sign your life over, and it’s torture. You end up walking past their house at night and looking longingly at their window… Who wants to live like that?”

On top of a keen love of, er, horses – “I worked at a riding school; horses are the greatest animals in the world!” he enthusiastically told us at 2013’s Golden Gods – of his many hobbies, the most endearing was also the least metal: Lemmy collected the tiny toys hidden inside chocolate Kinder Surprise eggs. On Motörhead’s rider, Lemmy requested individual Kinder eggs to ensure a better collection of toys, believing that if the eggs came in packages of three, the toys might all be the same. He also proudly displayed his toy collection in his apartment. This is just one more reason we loved him so desperately – behind the sound and the fury, Lemmy was just like the rest of us – a kid at heart.

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.