Alan Burridge - Lemmy Kilmister: Life Beyond Motörhead book review

Session work, movie roles, guest appearances and more.

Lemmy Kilmister: Life Beyond Motörhead book cover

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That it takes almost 200 pages to document Lemmy’s career outside of Motörhead indicates how little sleep he got in those 40 years. True, there’s a 16-page colour photo section and 30 or more on his earlier days with the Rockin’ Vickers, Sam Gopal and Hawkwind, but this proves Mr Kilmister was never a man to sit around twiddling his thumbs.

Alan Burridge – who runs the official Motörheadbangers fan club – began this long before Lemmy’s sad passing and would hate it to look like some kind of cash-in. Fear not, it doesn’t. This was written as a labour of love by a man who has lost a friend, just as the world has lost an icon. Burridge offers a brief narrative of Lemmy’s career and embroiders it with very personal tales of his own encounters with the man.

In doing so he connects details of around 150 side projects (including a plethora of video and screen appearances), not least a 1990 single alongside Mick Green of The Pirates that pointed the way to the Head Cat.

Alongside memorable outings with The Damned, Girlschool, Ozzy and Skew Siskin, the fan-friendly book highlights Lemmy’s lesser-known work with Warfare and Pure Hell (as producer), as well as vocals with Little Bob Story, Bootsauce, Bill Laswell, A.N.I.M.A.L. etc. It all cements Lemmy’s reputation as an ever-eager champion of the underdog.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush. Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.