Initially formed in 1975 by primary and founding member Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister (bass and vocals), Larry Walls (guitar) and Lucas Fox (drums), Motorhead had a long-held reputation as being among the forefront of a “New Wave of British Heavy Metal,” which not only re-energized British metal in the late 1970s and early 1980s; but particularly in the case of Motorhead, because their sound possessed elements of old school rock, punk rock and metal, they were also considered among the forefathers of thrash metal and speed metal. And throughout a 40 year run that included several lineup changes, the prolific band released 23 full-length albums, 10 live albums, 12 compilation albums and five EPs — but arguably with the release of 1979’s Overkill and Bomber, 1980’s Ace of Spades and 1981’s live album, No Sleep ’till Hammersmith, the trio fully established their reputation as one of the loudest, most forceful, most badass bands in the entire world.
As David Lee Roth wisely tweeted upon Lemmy Kilmister’s death “People die. That’s what they do. But somehow, I just thought that Lemmy would never die.” And while I’ve seen a tremendous array of legendary and up-and-coming artists, I never had a chance to see Motorhead; however, the anniversary of Kilmister’s death was the other day, and not only had it been a while since I had played any Motorhead, as the year comes to a close I have a tendency to look a bit back upon the music and art that had been influential to me at various points. And to that end check out this incredible live footage of Motorhead at Rock in Rio, back in 2011.