Rock of Sages

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Note to readers: The Motorhead concert originally scheduled for September 14 has been rescheduled for tonight, Monday, September 15, at Newport Music Hall. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Motorhead is tentatively scheduled to go on at 7:30 p.m. All previously purchased tickets will be honored.

In the beginning, Motorhead was to be called The Bastards.

That was the first of many crazy ideas of big-dreaming bassist Lemmy Kilmister, who was fired from prog-rock band Hawkwind in 1975 and soon formed an outfit that didn't really care to mimic space travel with a keyboard.

No, Kilmister wanted his band to mimic motorcycles - their fury and sounds, the rebel chic once embodied in a leather jacket, the freedom bikers will insist come with riding one. For more than 30 years, that's exactly what Motorhead has done. (Kilmister eventually changed the name at the behest of a manager who feared The Bastards would never land a spot on Top of the Pops.)

In the process, Kilmister and Co. invented speed metal, inspired 1,000 skull tattoos and never looked back. The band will appear with The Misfits, legendary rebels in their own right, Sunday at the Newport. Together, on the Lord's Day, they compose the baddest bill in town.

Motorhead's career has suffered extensive setbacks from record labels, managers, overweight fans, corporate bullies and people who, for some reason, can't groove to songs like "Eat the Rich."

But their loss is our gain: A lifetime of strife has led to a career of advice set to metal. Not like making a belt of machine-gun bullets seem a good idea - real advice, in the form of commands.

Which begs the question: How would my life have turned out if I followed them?

Good advice

"(Don't Let 'Em) Grind Ya Down"

From: Iron Fist (1982)

Lemmy's right: Evil bastards have nothing better to do than make my life a misery. Who's going to "steal my thunder"? No one. I let them have it.

Result: My life soon is worry-free. Sometimes I must eat those who cross me.

"Don't Lie to Me"

From: Snake Bite Love (1998)

In this rare endorsement of the Ten Commandments, I bear no false witness and whisper no rumors. Thus, I retain the honor of an honest man.

Result: As Lemmy predicts, I never appear on TV.

"Stay Out of Jail"

From: We Are Motorhead (2000)

Sure, I love hitting the local pub and meeting outlaw prostitutes who wander into town whacked out on cocaine. But I soon learn when enough is enough.

Result: A life of functional addiction - all of it jail-free! - ends with liver cancer at 56.

"Live to Win"

From: Ace of Spades (1980)

Largely because I suffer no one to grind me down, I believe in "my star," even though people treat me like dirt, fence me in and push me around.

Result: The Wall is broken, and anarchy prevails! (The good kind, not the hippie kind.)

Bad advice

"Eat the Rich"

From: Rock 'n' Roll (1987)

With glee, I put the bite on the son of a bitch, like a good boy would, with some home-cooked homicide!

Result: I serve life in prison for violating the Ohio Revised Code, most notably sections 2903.03 (voluntary manslaughter) and 2927.01 (abuse of a corpse).


From: Inferno (2004)

Unaware of the use of metaphors in rock, I am overcome by the vilest things Lemmy lists about mankind. I mean, seriously, lying and poison rain! What would you do?

Result: I spend eternity amid flames, moderate popular Motorhead fan site.

"Love Me Like a Reptile"

From: Ace of Spades (1980)

Where exactly I'm supposed to lick this take-no-prisoners protagonist is unclear. The cost of true devotion isn't pretty, though.

Result: From my stomach spawns an otherworldly creature with leather skin and a leather jacket. Then we form a sweet band.