Britain in the 1970’s: a grim place to be young. Economic recession has struck the working class hardest and the sounds of Zeppelin, Deep Purple or Black Sabbath – all now dead or dormant – are lost. When it was needed most, metal seemed like it was over before it had begun. Then along came Motorhead.
Chiefly the brainchild of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, Motorhead was formed after Lemmy was kicked out of an old outfit for ‘doing the wrong drugs’. He wanted music that was fast, vicious, and “so loud that if we move in next door to you, your lawn would die”. With the loud and joyfully destructive attitude of hard rockers, Motorhead kicked, punched, and shoved its way onto the scene. They couldn’t be ignored for long. The golden years of 1975-1982 saw some of the band’s best work: Overkill, Bomber and the ubiquitous Ace of Spades. Members came and went after that, moving between styles of speed metal, thrash and classic, thunderous rock and roll — always anchored by Lemmy’s raw guttural roar and and the thick distortions of his bass.
For better or worse, however, Lemmy lived life like his music. Until his death he was a blur of metamphetamines, whisky bottles, and smoke. When he died in 2015, Motorhead went with him — leaving hundreds of friends and colleagues behind. Collected are pictures of a band that kept Metal alive when it seemed lost, and the man remembered by Dave Grohl as the ‘gun-slinging, whiskey-drinking, bad-ass motherf**ker with a heart’.