Lemmy Movie Review

'Lemmy' is the biographical documentary film of one Ian Kilmister, legendary rock'n'roller and leader of Motorhead. Apparently 2 years in the making the film runs the whole gamut charting his early days in North Wales, hitchhiking to The Cavern to see The Beatles through to moving to London to roadie for Jimi Hendrix. From then he joined Hawkwind and later went on to form Motorhead and concludes with Lemmy in his current abode in Los Angeles where he now resides and has done for several years.

Despite making some of the most uncompromising music of the last 30 years, Motorhead for some strange reason, cross all boundaries. This is undoubtedly down to the enduring appeal of Lemmy - a man who's stuck to his guns and done things on his own terms to the point where he has just ended up being accepted.

Which gives credence to the fact that If you spend long enough doing something and which such conviction, people will eventually come round to your way of thinking. As a rock 'n' roll icon his influence has touched almost everyone who is anyone and the most surprising thing of all about this documentary is the sheer breadth of people who have fallen under his influence. The usual rock crowd is to be expected. Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana), Metallica etc but its appearances of others such as Jarvis Cocker, Peter Hook (Joy Division), Mick Jones (The Clash), Marky Ramone (The Ramones) and Billy Bob Thornton that most surprise.

There are some great rock 'n' roll tales of excess abound as the story gets underway. Like the time Lemmy scores 10 tabs of acid for Jimi Hendrix, Jimi takes 7 and makes Lemmy take the remaining three. Funniest of all is when Lemmy gets kicked out of Hawkwind for drug offences which is ironic in itself (I mean how the f**k can you get kicked out of Hawkwind for taking too many drugs?). On his return home Lemmy gets back at them by proceeding to make his way through as many of his ex-band member's wives as he possibly can. There is also a great story about when he meets the impossibly obnoxious Justin Hawkins lead singer of The Darkness and if he doesn't have your respect already he will do by the time you hear this one.

Judging anybody would be the wrong thing to do, however the jury will certainly be out on him and for all those who sycophantically refer to him as God there are those who will find the existence of a 63 year old man playing at being 20 rather sad. At times you see a very lonely man living what can only be described as a very north walian existence living in an impossibly messy apartment, drinking and gambling, only doing it in one of the most amazing cities in the world. The nazi memorabilia does indeed leave a bad taste in the mouth, however its seriously doubtful he's into the ideology as he explains himself, and it does appear to be a genuine interest albeit a seriously inappropriate one.

Overall Ian Kilmister comes across as a quiet, considered and honourable man. No mean feat considering he's been trapped in 'Lemmy' a persona of his own creation for many years. The film's most heartwarming moment is when he declares his son the most valuable thing in his life. They obviously have a genuine affection for each other and it's good to see this side to Lemmy amidst all the bravado. As a film 'Lemmy' works very well and even if you're not a real big fan of Motorhead this is still a 'must-see' for anyone who's ever been in a band and with a genuine interest in music. Overall it's an honest and faultless. erm. 'warts and all' portrayal of one of rock 'n' roll's most enduring icons.

Scott Causer

Cast & Crew

Director : Greg Olliver

Producer : Wes Orshoski


Comments

Lemmy Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: PG, 2011

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