Newest Review: ... he cites the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Little Richard, singling out the latter in being the best rock and roll vocalist of all time and ... more
The ace of documentaries?
Member Name: dangaroo
Advantages: Great content, good music, interesting
Disadvantages: Thought that the beginning could have been better
Few people would put Stoke-on-Trent down as the capital of rock but as the birth place of both Slash and Motorhead frontman Lemmy, it certainly doesn't hide in the shadows. With his dangling facial moles, lamb chop side burns and a voice that sounds like he gargles with razor blades, few rock stars come close to Lemmy.
If you read much about metal bands, the one thing you'll notice after a while is that the majority of them look up to Lemmy as some kind of rock godfather figure and a lot of fellow musicians have good things to say about him. With his fast and furious music and eccentric nazi cowboy look, you'd be forgiven for thinking that this wild man was totally unapproachable but nothing could be further from the truth. Fans, fellow musicians and people he's come in to the contact with over the years, report his generosity, decency and time for others and there's numerous accounts in this documentary film.
A film that's a little under the two-hour mark seeks to squeeze in a rather long-lived music career. A lot of artists release a handful of albums, Lemmy has released more than 20 official albums and many more bootlegs and compilations, and that's just with Motorhead, there was at least 10 years of music prior to that.
The film starts off with recent artists talking about Lemmy and whilst I can kind of see what the director is getting at, in that most of these artists were influenced by him and also may be more familiar to a younger generation, I don't think they have a great deal to offer with their words of wisdom. After that though, you get to see in to the life of Lemmy, his house, his son and his unbelievably large amount of what he calls 'stuff' - mostly made up of WW1 and 2 collectables, gifts, awards and music-related items.
The documentary retells Lemmy's early days, his father who did a disappearing act when Lemmy was 3 months old is labelled 'a dickhead with glasses', he also talks about his school days in North Wales and how The Beatles inspired him to move to Manchester and join The Rockin' Vickers. It also delves in to his life in London, without a band but desperate to be a musician, he hung around with other musicians, living with Noel Redding and Neil Chesters from the Jimi Hendrix Experience and was a roadie and drug scorer for Hendrix.
When it comes to Hawkwind, Lemmy is visibly upset by being thrown out of the band for what he calls 'stupid 70s drug snobbery' and claims he would still probably be in the band today as he liked it so much. The film manages to capture a range of emotions and shows a very personable side to the man who remembers life before rock n roll.
What sets Lemmy apart from the rest is the desire to keep touring, writing songs, releasing albums and his love for rock n roll. When he's not playing with Motorhead, he's experimenting with the rockabilly supergroup The Head Cat and in the past filled in as bassist for The Damned. Perhaps rather oddly, various people including Ozzy Osbourne claim to have never seen Lemmy out of control despite heavy use of alcohol and amphetamines. There's a certain sensability to the old man of rock though, as he refuses to condone a type of lifestyle that has led to death amongst his friends and also says that it's impossible to mix being a touring musician and having a partner.
It's a pretty interesting documentary and I felt it showed a rather complete view of his musical career and life in his spare time, as well as discussing his relationship with his son, former girlfriends and most importantly his bass guitar. The director doesn't really get any particularly arty shots, it's a fairly basic biographical film that has the benefit of having one of rock's stalwarts for its content, it was bound to be interesting. I do find it a little odd, that a film about a national treasure like Lemmy has not been reviewed yet and it seems to have been a bigger hit in the US than in the rocker's homeland.
Summary: Definitely worth watching if you like Motorhead/Lemmy.
- Bring Me Home (Blu-ray)
- Made In Stoke 24/7/11 (Blu-ray)
- Up All Night - The Live Tour (DVD)
- The Beatles Anthology (DVD)
- Abba - Gold (DVD)
- Marc Bolan And T Rex - Born To Boogie (DVD)
- Foo Fighters - Live At Wembley Stadium (Blu-ray)
- The Labyrinth Tour: Live At The O2 (Blu-ray)
- Katherine Jenkins: Believe Live From The O2 (DVD)
- Fascinating Aida - Silver Jubilee (DVD)