“I am not singing about dolphins!” WWE legend Triple H had to talk Motorhead’s Lemmy into covering David Bowie and the Rolling Stones

Photos of Triple H and Lemmy Kilmister in 2005
(Image credit: Triple H: J. Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations | Motörhead: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

WWE executive and ex-wrestler Paul “Triple H” Levesque has said he talked Motörhead leader Lemmy Kilmister into covering David Bowie’s Heroes and Rolling StonesSympathy For The Devil.

Levesque, who made the claim during an appearance on the Not Sam Wrestling Podcast in May, is a 14-time WWE world champion who’s used three entrance themes performed by Motörhead.

“During that time where [Kilmister] was really sick, I saw him in L.A. and talked to him about doing some covers,” Levesque said on the podcast.

“We sat in the back of [famous L.A. venue] the Staples Center and asked, ‘What if we did this project together and we [the WWE] will promote it?’ He was really into it. We had a deal with the record label and started putting together a list of tracks.”

Levesque later added: “One of the tracks I mentioned was Sympathy For The Devil. He was like, ‘Ugh.’ He was a big Beatles guy. I was like, ‘Man, to me – that song with your voice on it, Lem – you’re the Devil.’ I talked him into it and it’s the first one he does.”

Levesque then claimed to also inspire Motörhead’s Heroes cover.

“I suggested it: ‘David Bowie, Heroes, you doing that song.’ And he’s like, ‘I am not singing about dolphins!’ [referencing the lyric ‘Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim’]. I was like, ‘Lem! Rewrite the lyrics! Who cares?!’”

Although a WWE-promoted Motörhead covers album was never released, Sympathy For The Devil came out as a bonus track on Bad Magic, the band’s final album before Kilmister’s death in December 2015. It became the album’s most popular song, currently boasting more than 19 million streams on Spotify.

Motörhead’s Heroes was released posthumously in 2017 as the lead single of covers compilation Under Cöver. It boasts 67 million YouTube views at time of publication.

Kilmister and Levesque were close friends, meeting after Motörhead recorded their first entrance theme for the wrestler, The Game, in 2001. The band later also recorded King Of Kings for Levesque and the song Evolution for his stable of the same name.

Motörhead played Levesque to the ring at Wrestlemania 17 in 2001 and Wrestlemania 21 in 2005, and Levesque gave a speech at Lemmy’s funeral in 2016.

Levesque reflected on his friendship with Kilmister in a 2016 Metal Hammer interview.

“We could hang out and we could talk for hours and it wouldn’t even be about music or about my business, we’d just talk,” he said.

“We just had a connection there, and I’d only see him once a year sometimes – he was never really a phone chat kinda guy! – and we’d talk, and then he’d say, ‘I gotta go,’ and then he’d be off and I’d see him a year later.”

Levesque became a professional wrestler in 1992 and also assumed an executive role in WWE in 2010. He retired from performing in the ring in 2022 but has since become the wrestling company’s head of creative and chief content officer.

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Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.