“Motörhead, remember me now, Motörhead, alright!”
Lemmy, Phil, Fast Eddie and the Rise of Motörhead is the first book to celebrate the classic-era Motörhead lineup of Lemmy Kilmister, “Fast” Eddie Clarke, and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Through interviews with all of the principal troublemakers, Martin Popoff celebrates the formation of the band and the records that made them legends: Motörhead, Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, No Sleep ’til Hammersmith, and Iron Fist. An in-depth coda brings the story up to date with the shocking recent deaths of Taylor and Kilmister.
Motörhead comes to life in this book as bad-luck bad boys — doused in drink and drugs, most notably speed — incapable of running their lives right, save for Fast Eddie, who is charged with holding things together. Popoff also examines the heady climate of music through the band’s rise to prominence during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, with detailed reflection on Motörhead’s unique position in the scene as both originators and embattled survivors who carried on the renegade spirit of those times.
Popoff (Metal Heart), a prolific author who specializes in hard rock and heavy metal music, writes that the speed metal and punk sound of Mot rhead is "a hard music to love, music made for lovers of hard music." That describes his exhaustive book, too. Hardcore fans will be delighted by the extensive interviews with the three members of the original lineup from 1977 82 (Lemmy Kilmister on bass and vocals, "Fast" Eddie Clarke on guitar, and Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor on drums) and just about every producer, engineer, manager, and musician who worked with the band; even the designer who came up with their demonic logo gets a say. Popoff has a lyrical way with words, describing one album as a "middle finger of a record" and Kilmister with "his caustic caw thrust up at the mike, bass as accompanying weapon." The side trips looking at other bands in which Mot rhead played some part, including Hawkwind, Girlschool, and Twisted Sister, help to establish the music of the time in England the only place Mot rhead ever had a number one record and provide a welcome break from the onslaught of Mot rhead, which is loud even in print.