In 2006 we asked Lemmy to tell us about his ultimate rock'n'roll icon: he chose Tina Turner

Lemmy in 2006 and (inset) Tina Turner
(Image credit: Lemmy: Edd Westmacott/Avalon | Tina Turner: Jack Robinson/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In 2006, Classic Rock celebrated its 100th issue by asking 100 rock'n'roll icons to talk about their favourite rock'n'roll icons.  

It was quite the list. Nancy Wilson heaped praise upon Jimmy Page. Def Leppard's Phil Collen talked at length about Jimi Hendrix. Alice In Chains' man Jerry Cantrell spoke of his admiration for Metallica frontman James Hetfield. And Lemmy? Lemmy recalled being blown away by Tina Turner. 

"Tina Turner was fucking amazing when she was young." Lemmy told us. "I saw the Ike & Tina Turner Revue at the Middle Earth in Covent Garden. There was only a small stage. It was… I don’t know, two feet high, so I was in direct crotch level with the Ikettes. It was a hell of a show. I remember being gobsmacked by the Ikettes – there were four of them, as I recall, and I was captivated by the one in the blonde wig. 

"But then Tina Turner came out and she made me forget about the Ikettes straight away. She was so beautiful and she had legs up to here. She was like greased lightning. This must have been 1967. She was doing great records then… Proud Mary and River Deep Mountain High – that was the big one, of course. 

"When Tina went solo she picked very unfortunate songs and she lost all that dynamic. I think it was a conscious move to get away from the Ike & Tina Turner thing, but at the same time it fucked the act. Because whatever Ike did to her, he brought out that wild woman in her. 

"I never got to meet her, properly. I said hello to her once at Hammersmith Odeon – just “Hi!” as she was passing by. You might think Tina Turner is an unusual choice for my icon, but my music memories go back a long way; I remember when Elvis’s first record came out. So I wouldn’t be likely to choose David Coverdale, d’you know what I mean?"

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.