Friday, 7 October 2011

Motorhead: Overkill, The Untold Story

Motorhead: Overkill, The Untold Story of Motorhead
Joel McIver
Omnibus Press

It seems odd perhaps that the band that was originally going to be called Bastard has outlived many of its contemporaries to become almost an institution and an influence on many of Rock’s current “Big Names”. Maybe if Lemmy had stuck with the name bastard the band may not have had the staying power Motorhead has.

Joel McIver has written some great books on rock music in his time and Overkill The Story of Motorhead continues that tradition although he did have a great subject to work with..

McIvor’s style is a no fuss style although eminently readable. This book traces the genesis of Motorhead from Lemmy’s early days in the music industry and through his time with Hawkwind which unfortunately came to a rather sudden end on the American/Canadian border in 1975 onto the formation of the first line up of Motorhead with former Pink Fairy Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox. Of course the real meat and potatoes for most Motorhead fans will be the years 1976-1982 when the trio of Lemmy Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and “Fast” Eddie Clarke were tearing it up across the world and releasing albums such as Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades and the magnificent live album No Sleep Til Hammersmith.

The oft used phrase by Lemmy about his new band was that if the band moved in next door to you your lawn would die. Motorhead certainly pulled no punches and delivered high octane rock music which has over the thirty five plus years of its existence carved its own highly thought of niche in rock music.

Whilst Motorhead is Lemmy’s life and probably will be until the day he dies he still says that he would still probably be with Hawkwind if they hadn’t sacked him. For many reasons including the fact that Motorhead are one of the finest bands to ever draw breath I think we can be more than happy that Hawkwind did sack Lemmy
The book is a must for fans of Motorhead and there are many little tit bits of information that the hard core head fan will love hence the title “The Untold Story” I was particularly interested in the period when the band featured former Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson and there were a few answers for me at least in this part of the Motorhead story.

Whilst there are some opinions held by the author that I personally know to be wrong having interviewed Lemmy myself on occasion. Particularly the period when the band were signed to Chiswick Records by and large this is a book many Motorhead fans will enjoy reading and as a band with more than 25 albums to their name there are a great many people out there who still follow the band and buy the albums.

So what more can I say except slip No Sleep Til Hammersmith on open a cool one and open this book!

You can buy the book directly from Omnibus Press here:

You can request tracks by Motorhead at Classic Rock radio Here:

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