In White Line Fever
, Lemmy, the thinking person's Ozzy Osbourne, provides a completely unreconstructed, warts and all account of his excessive life--well, the bits he can, or cares to, recall of it anyway. "That was a great time, the summer of 71", he wistfully muses at one point, "I can't remember it, but I'll never forget it!" Leader of Motorhead for close to 30 years, Lemmy has had more drugs, drinks and girls than hot dinners. His mechanism really has gone--in 1980 his blood was officially diagnosed as toxic to other human beings.
Lemmy, born in 1945 and christened Ian Fraser Kilmister, was a vicar's son. His dad, however, didn't stay around long and he was raised, predominantly, by his librarian mother in Wales. A teenager at the birth of rock 'n' roll, Lemmy first took an interest in music after discovering, as he forthrightly puts it, "what an incredible pussy magnet guitars were". After spells in local beat combos he headed off to Manchester and then London. Here he became a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, played in Opal Butterfly, before pretty much ambling into space rockers Hawkwind's line-up during 1971. This was, of course, an era when the group "would get high in the park and talk to the trees--sometimes the trees would win the argument". Sometimes it sounded as if the trees wrote the songs, too. Four years later speedfreak Lemmy was sacked for "doing the wrong drugs".
Vowing to form the "dirtiest rock 'n' roll band in the world", he put together Motorhead, arguably the heaviest (and according to the Guinness Book of Records for about five years, the loudest) heavy metal band ever to grace a stage. Thrilling buzzsaw songs such as Ace of Spades, Bomber, Killed by Death and Hellraiser (as deep as their names suggest) gained them a legion of headbanging fans. And while Lemmy may spend a little too long berating his former record label Sony and griping about recent albums being overlooked, this sex, drugs and metal memoir certainly goes all the way up to 11. --Travis Elborough
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The autobiography of the frontman of the loudest rock band in the world. Told with Lemmy's indomitable charisma and humour, this is the autobiography of a rock icon who over the past thirty years in the industry, has stayed true to his music, his fans and his pleasures. Lemmy was born Ian Fraser Kilmister in 1945, the son of a vicar who walked out on his mother when Lemmy was just three months old. Having been inspired to play the guitar by chicks, Little Richard and Buddy Holly, Lemmy formed what would become the ultimate metal group in 1975 and christened them Motorhead. The group went on to embrace a rock-and-roll lifestyle fuelled by drink, drugs and women, and in the process released twenty-one albums and attracted a huge following. WHITE LINE FEVER is a truly headbanging tour through the last few decades of speedmetal, offering a sometimes hilarious, often outrageous, but highly entertaining trip with the frontman of the loudest rock band in the world.