Happy Birthday Lemmy

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Best known as bassist, vocalist, songwriter and member of rock bands Motörhead &  Hawkwind, The heavy metal musician Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister was born on this day 24 December 1945, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent. Lemmy started his musical career in Stockport, where he joined local bands The Rainmakers and then The Motown Sect who enjoyed playing northern clubs for three years. Then in 1965 he joined The Rockin’ Vickers who signed a deal with CBS, released three singles and toured Europe, and were reportedly the first British band to visit Yugoslavia.In 1971, Lemmy joined the Prog rock band, Hawkwind, as a bassist and vocalist and sang on on songs like  Space Ritual and “Silver Machine“, which reached No.3 in 1972. Unfortunately In 1975 Lemmy was fired from Hawkwind after he was arrested at the Canadian border in Windsor, Ontario, on drug possession charges.

He then went on to form a new band  with guitarist Larry Wallis (former member of the Pink Fairies, Steve Took’s Shagrat and UFO) and drummer Lucas Fox. Subsequently  Lemmy changed the band’s name to “Motörhead” – the title of the last song Lemmy wrote for Hawkwind. Soon after, both Wallis and Fox were replaced with guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke and drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Lemmy’s guttural vocals were unique, and His appearance, including his friendly mutton chops, prominent facial moles and gravelly voice, has since made him a cult icon and Motörhead have since gone on to become one of the most influential bands in the heavy metal music, with a number of UK chart hits, including the classic single “Ace of Spades“, which is still a crowd favourite today

Lemmy has also worked with a number of other musicians over his career and occasionally guests with Hawkwind. He wrote the song “R.A.M.O.N.E.S” for the Ramones, which he still plays in his live sets as a tribute to the band. He was brought in as a songwriter for Ozzy Osbourne’s 1991 No More Tears album, providing lyrics for the tracks “Hellraiser“, (which Motörhead would later record themselves and release a single), “Desire”, “I Don’t Want to Change the World” and the single “Mama I’m Coming Home”.  Unfortunately in 2000, Lemmy was diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes, and this led to a brief hospitalisation. In 2002 Lemmy published his autobiography, White Line Fever .In 2005, Motörhead won their first Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category with their cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash”.  In October 2009 it was announced that he had been involved in recording a cover of “Stand by Me” featuring Lemmy on vocals and bass, Dave Lombardo of Slayer on drums, which was made for professional skateboarder Geoff Rowley. In 2011 Lemmy also appeared on the song Debauchery As A Fine Art from Michael Monroe’s new solo album called Sensory Overload.