Everything Louder Than Everything Else: Adventures With Motorhead in Pop Culture

Tomorrow night Lemmy Kilmister and Motorhead hit the stage at Warehouse Live, and Rocks Off will be there, at least physically. We don't plan on remembering the show so we have diligently trolling YouTube for videos to fill in any memory lapses we may have from heavy indulgence and fanboy euphoria.

The band is synonymous with danger and disarray. Their logo the "Snaggletooth" and all its interpretations denote something frightening and alternately free at the same time. Lemmy's distinctive facial features and grizzled contentment are pure rock 'n roll, even if both are subject to ridicule from their detractors. The band isn't metal and they aren't punk, but they contributed to both genres' disparate lineages and became the one group that each sub-culture could share a beer over.


There is something about the muddy and metallic sound of Motorhead and lead singer and bassist Lemmy's gravelly snarl that makes Rocks Off giddy with musical bloodlust. We feel the same way when we hear Bon Scott-era AC/DC as well, seeing that anything recorded after his death pales in sad comparison. Both band's primetime career clamor simply has balls to it. Put on the Head's Ace Of Spades and the title track at any time of the day and you will feel and see what we mean. Listening to either group enough will put hair on one's chest. Man, woman, or child.

Today we dug up a few pop-culture odd and ends from the past thirty-five years of Motorhead's existence, from peculiar late-night television performances to a salute from Rocks Off's own patron saints of '90s.

The band performed in 1992 on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and for some reason Leno made a complete ass out of himself, pronounced the band's name like Dracula. Over the year's Leno has made high art our of being a clunky musical guest interviewer. He asks questions that your grandmother would ask, and rarely gives his subjects any leeway to at least decently.

This is Lemmy shilling British "crisps" a few years back. Those are potato chips for all of you Texans in the dark out there. We wonder what ketchup-flavored chips would taste like. Predictably bad more than likely.

This is the question we ask everyone within the first five minutes we meet them. It's caused some trouble on first dates, family reunions, routine traffic stops, and job interviews.

Destroying a hotel room in France, with Lemmy at the height of speed-taking career. That's another unfortunate thing we can blame Motorhead for in our life.

Coming to a theater near you very soon, this documentary traces Lemmy's almost mythic status among true rockers, with even Dave Grohl placing him above the likes of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. With every passing year we agree more and more.

Of course Lemmy beats Ozzy in an arm-wrestling match. Lemmy is Evil, and Ozzy is like Diet Evil.

This was our first taste of Motorhead way back in 1993. Nothing has ever been the same since. Soon we were taping cereal to our faces and adjusting our microphone at the spelling bee just so it would resemble Lemmy's own set-up.

Tomorrow make sure to bring earplugs to the blog, as we take a look back at some of the band's best and beastly videos from their storied history.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty