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That time Lemmy appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, laughed at The Clash and stormed off

Lemmy
(Image credit: Never Mind The Buzzcocks BBC)

If you've never watched an episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, perhaps because you either live in the US, don't own a television or have been living off the grid as a socially-inapt hermit, you sadly would have missed out on this brilliant moment. But fear not, we're here to fill you in on this golden snippet of unexpected history.

First aired in 1996, Never Mind The Buzzcocks was a comedy panel show on the BBC that combined musical trivia with smug British wit and – at times – challenging humour. It became a nation-wide hit, and saw a myriad of celebrities and music legends embrace the game.

On March 6, 1998, Motorhead's Lemmy appeared on series three of the show, and unsurprisingly charmed audiences with his distinctively charismatic dry humour, before making fun of The Clash, and eventually storming off.

Apparently, he felt like his fellow panellists were making fun of him, which, to be fair, was standard practise on the irreverent show.

Although the latter moment was never captured, as it took place after the main filming had finished and the production crew was working on retakes, there's plenty of footage of his time on the show that we couldn't help but look back on with fondness. 

Hosted by comedian Mark Lamarr, appearing on the show alongside Lemmy were team captain Phil Jupitis, Richard Fairbrass, Stone Roses bassist Mani, Rick McMurray from Ash, Bucks Fizz's Jay Aston and Status Quo's John Coughlan.

While taking part in one of the show's many comedic tasks, namely I Fought The Law, a challenge which saw teams guessing which of a given list of crimes or lawsuits a pop/rock star had been involved in, and whether they'd won or lost their case, Lemmy was quick to display his breezy, no-fucks-given attitude. The task in question was to work out what crime punk rock icons The Clash had committed. 

"In '77, rock and roll outlaws The Clash were arrested in order to appear before a magistrate" says Lamarr. "But what had they actually done?"

The options were either exhibit a. drummer Topper Headon had stolen too many "pretty pillow cases" from a Newcastle hotel, exhibit b. Joe Strummer blew his nose on a naan bread in a Birmingham curry house which led to fight with other diners, or exhibit c. bassist Paul Simonon assaulted a journalist by holding him down and writing "white riot" on his forehead. 

As the introduction for the task is read out, with The Clash described as "rock and roll outlaws", Jupitis brought attention to the fact that Lemmy had begun chuckling to himself over such a notion.

Weighing up his options, Jupitis then offer his thoughts on the matter, saying, "Nicking pillow cases, it's not very Clash is it, really?"

In response, Lemmy quips, "Yeah it is", before explaining that he himself has stolen "most things" from hotels, including drugs, and "chamber maids". 

It turns out that Lemmy was in fact, correct, and The Clash were indeed arrested for stealing too many pillow cases. However, his team voted that the answer was exhibit b. the naan bread-induced fight, the fools, proving once again that you should never doubt the wisdom of Lemmy.

Watch the clip below:

Liz Scarlett
Liz Scarlett

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. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.