Lemmy seems like a man who’s set in his ways. Although he’s most likely a multi-millionaire at this point, he still lives in very modest two-bedroom apartment on the Sunset Strip so he can walk down to the Rainbow and order his usual Jack ‘n’ Coke and partake in a quiet game of Pac Man surrounded by local fans and friends. It’s a far stretch from the lavish mansions usually owned by rock ‘n’ roll superstars but that’s just the kind of man Lemmy is. Imagine a rock ’n’ roll version of Bukowski who not only plays the part of a rock ’n’ roll madman but also lives, breathes and devoures each and every last ounce of it. Although, as of late, he seems to be working on giving up some of the vices that go along with the hedonistic lifestyle. Well, not exactly. Lemmy says he’s given up Jack Daniels and Coke and switched to the more reasonable Vodka and orange juice. Why? He told the Guardian:
I like orange juice better. So Coca-Cola can f*** off.
On Monday night in San Francisco he stuck to beer and opened the show with his now classic line of: “We are Motörhead and we’re here to play rock’n’roooolllll.” At 68 years of age, Lemmy still knows how to make a venue shake with the help of his thunderous bass playing and smoke induced vocal growls, the way only he knows how. The rest of the Motorhead crew were by his side consisting of Phil “Wizzö” Campbell on guitars and the blonde viking warrior Mikkey Dee on drums. The trifecta came together strongly last night and tore the roof off of the sold out Warfield, to a crowd full of devil horns, black jeans, jean jackets and Snaggletooth badges. Although the band sounded predictable at times, their sound is one that’s been able retain a loyal fan base for close to 40 years now, very much like, for example a band like AC/DC that seems to transcend time and genres.
Lemmy remained strong throughout the show despite his recent health issue. Throughout the past two years, the man fans refer to simply as God, underwent surgery to have an implantable defibrillator placed in his chest and was forced to cancel gigs due to a hematoma. In an interview with Lust for Life, Lemmy talked candidly about his health scares and said, “During my last surgery I was close to death,” Lemmy admits. “It was the only moment I was stalked by the devil called doubt. I wondered if I’d make it. I’m not afraid of death – I often sing about it. So I wasn’t shaking in my bed, but I did have the feeling I wasn’t done yet. I still wanted to do shows and make records. That feeling pulled me through all this.”
Saxon opened the show and although all of them are pretty much gray at this point, they’ve still got plenty of fire in them and tore through their setlist like the true rock veterans that they are. It’s no wonder this band has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide and are considered one of the classic metal acts that have influenced many bands such as Metallica, Mötley Crüe, Pantera, Sodom, Skid Row, and Megadeth. The band stormed through songs like “Motorcycle Man”, “Battering Ram” and “This Town Rocks” and closed their set with the infamous “Denim and Leather.”
We Are Motörhead
Over the Top
The Chase Is Better Than the Catch
Lost Woman Blues
Just ‘Cos You Got the Power
Going to Brazil
Ace of Spades