Fajsz Deaky interviews Lemmy, 8th December, Hannover, Germany.
This interview will be published both here in the NY Waste and in Germany in mag, Magazin aus dem Ruhrgebiet, www.mag.cc. Many thanx to David Schraven & Mag for this collaboration!
Photo: Lucky Lawler
Lemmy’s in a good mood. The sound check went well, we’ll do the interview. “15 minutes”, says Mirko from the record-company. “if he likes the interview, maybe longer.” A plain room in the stadium-hall in Hannover, Germany. Two chairs, a table, a mirror. “He’ll have a sandwich, then we go.” Lemmy enters the room. Black shirt, black pants, black boots. The Iron Cross ‘round his neck. He holds his cigarettes in his left hand, an opened bottle of wine in his right. Friendly hellos and the first question -- asked by Lemmy.
Lemmy: Wanna drink?
Fajsz: I’d Like to, but I’m driving.
Lemmy: (Looking at me understandingly) The police are bastards ‘round here, right?
Talking about booze, I’m asking him about his favourite drink.
Fajsz: Ever thought of drinking something else than bourbon?
Lemmy: I don’t like anything else than bourbon. But try this, it’s very good.
He hands me the wine.
Lemmy: Good, right? It’s from Portugal.
Fajsz: What if you had to play a gig in central Siberia, with no Bourbon within 2000 miles?
Lemmy (laughing): I’d drink vodka. You know, I like bourbon, but I’m not gonna fucking crucify ‘em for it.
He gives me a Marlboro Red.
Fajsz: Is it true, you don’t get drunk anymore?
Lemmy: Did I say that? Well, yes, it’s true. I drink, but I don’t get drunk anymore. Kind of depressing in a way, but otherwise You stop making an idiot out of yourself too often.
Fajsz: Is alcohol a drug?
Lemmy: It’s legal. Alcohol has some kind of tradition. In several eastern countries it’s marihuana (that’s legal, alcohol illegal). It’s just about where you are, what the custom is, and what you get away with. In Holland now it’s legal to smoke dope. But in other countries it’s illegal. Don’t make any sense to me. They legalized it many years ago, and there’s no big crime rate increase. They just quietly smoke the dope, and nothing happens. Why isn’t everybody else doing it? ‘Cause there’s too much money in it. Too much money made out of confiscating people’s houses and cars - big fiends for possession. I mean, in America, if you get busted with a lot of grass, they just take your house. Big business for the cops.
Fajsz: How toxic is your body?
He wrote in “White Line Fever” (his autobiography), that he couldn’t submit himself to a blood substitution, because clean blood would kill him.
Lemmy: That was then. I was doing a lot more stuff, than I’m doing now.
Fajsz: Did you already find a scientist you could commit your body to, when you’re gone?
Lemmy: I’m still using it!
Fajsz: What if somebody wants to make a contract for the future?
Lemmy: Depends on how much money he’s got. Good business for doctors too.
Fajsz: How much would you want to get for it?
Lemmy: Ain’t we gonna talk about something else?
Fajsz: What about Sarah Kuttner (a German teenage-chat show-host). Annoyed by people that just never stop talking?
Lemmy: No, she was nice. Stefan Raab (another chat show-host) was nice too. But the best one in Germany is Harald Schmidt (Germany’s most famous late-night-show-host.) I’ve been to his show twice, and he’s a really brave guy. He doesn’t give a shit. He’d do and say things that people would never do in Germany before. (Harald Schmidt jokes about World War II a very sensitive subject in Germany). I really admire him for that, he’s trying to make something happen. It’s not the usual talk show-shit, he’s fucking good.
Fajsz: He’s got a new show.
Lemmy: I expect to hear from him.
Fajsz: Robbie Williams goes on stage and shouts “I am a rock-star!” Is he?
Lemmy: He’s a star, but not a rock-star. He’s the old-fashioned pop star thing. But he’s very good, I like him. He has a sense of humour about himself, which is great. So he’s probably gonna be a star for a long time. As long as you keep that sense of humour, about what you’re doing. It’s not the world-scheme or things, it’s only entertainment. There’s things like ‘Life Aid’, which try to feed people things, governments wouldn’t do but still and all, it’s only entertainment. It shouldn’t be political.
Fajsz: Have you been invited for ‘Life Aid 20’?
Lemmy: Who would invite people like us?
Fajsz: Motörhead, since decades, is one of the biggest British Rock ‘n’ Roll-Acts.
Lemmy: There’s how much Rock ‘n’ Roll in Life Aid?
Fajsz: Do you mind, that many people consider you a rock-veteran, maybe even the last living rocker?
Lemmy: That’s OK with me. They might be right. But I don’t like rock stars. They’re not an attractive species. I just rock like a fucking hurricane on stage, that’s it.
Fajsz: Are today’s teenagers into Rock ‘n’ Roll?
Lemmy: Well, we got lots of 12 or 13 year olds in the audience. They’re probably the 3rd generation of rock stars. They might not have the same relationship of R ‘n’R as we had, they can’t. They weren’t there when the original came out, when the Beatles came out. But they have their own idea of it and that’s just as pure. You can’t say, only old music is good or only music of today. All the time, there has been a lot of shit and a bit of good stuff. In the beginning there wasn’t just Elvis Presley or Little Richard, there were also assholes like Dickie Valentine or Johnny Ray.
Fajsz: So everybody should have their own view?
Lemmy: There’s only two kinds of music in the world. Music you like and music you don’t like. If you like it go and buy it. If you don’t like it don’t. It’s dead simple, it couldn’t be more simple.
Fajsz: You live in LA. Is America a good country to live in, or is everybody just mistrusting and terrified about terrorist attacks?
Lemmy: The government keeps people being afraid. It’s just like with the Nazis in Germany. Hitler had the Reichstag-fire, George Bush had 9/11. They used it to push the laws by decree. It used to be the communist threat, now it’s the terrorist threat. The government’s taking away your liberty in the name of freedom. And Tony Blair is just an echo of Bush. In England we call him Bush’s Poodle. Perfect description.
Fajsz: You mentioned Hitler. What makes you that fascinated about World War II?
Lemmy: I am fascinated by history. Not only about Germany ‘33 ‘45, also about the First World War and history of English Kings and Queens. It’s just, that the Second World War is the most important event in the 20th century. It changed everybody’s life, changed yours, changed mine. It changed the map of the world. It moved Poland 250 Miles ‘cross the fucking earth. I think, not to be interested in it should be weird. I do a lot of research about it, there’s many brilliant books.
World War II Lemmy’s favourite subject. He starts enumerating.
For example “Berlin, the Fall” by Anthony Beavour. Or “The Last Battle” by Cornelius Ryan. And “Bomber” by Len Deighton. That’s great too. That made me write my song, “Bomber”. It’s about a small village that’s been bombed by the RAF by mistake. The went for a raid on Krefeld. It’s about the people on the planes and the people on the ground. It’s has many details in it, he’s really done good research, and I’m trying to do too.
He gives me another cigarette.
Fajsz: So your Nazi-Collection is part of your research?
Lemmy: I don’t only collect Nazi-stuff, I collect objects from all the “axis-countries”. Also from countries, who aren’t even mentioned anymore as former part of the axis. Like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Hungary. Ok, in the end, they all said: “We’re no Nazis”, when they saw, that the Germans were losing it. But five years before that, they went “yeah!”
Mirko from the record company comes in, 15 minutes are over. “Five more”, says Lemmy.
Fajsz: Where do you get the objects you collect?
Lemmy: The USA is a great place for collecting that shit, ‘cause the GI’s took everything back to America. They took fucking warehouses full of uniforms, Mercedes staff-cars. One guy shipped a Focke Wulf 190-fighter home in pieces and rebuilt it in America. Now he owns the only fucking FW-190 in the world. I used to buy a couple of things here in Germany, but now you can’t take anymore knifes or things back home in a plane. And it’s become more relaxed to buy stuff like that here. There’s five or six stores in Hamburg especially. They’re advertising it. What’s the point anyway? It’s not nationalistic kind of thing, I mean, what the fuck you’re gonna do? Pretend, it never happened? There’s airplane model-kits of Messerschmidt 109-fighters. Shouldn’t you touch them?
Fajsz: What about the Uniforms. Should people wear them?
Lemmy: I’ll tell you something about history. From the beginning of time, the bad guys always had the best uniforms. Napoleon, the Confederates, the Nazis. They all had killer-uniforms. I mean, the SS-uniform is fucking brilliant! They were the rock stars of that time. What you’re gonna do, they just look good. Don’t tell me, I’m a Nazi, ‘cause I have uniforms. In 1967 I had my first black girlfriend and a lot of more ever since then. I just don’t understand racism, I never thought it was an option.
Fajsz: Do you think, something like World War II can happen again?
Lemmy: Sure, could easily happen. Could happen right now. Actually, we’re already fighting it. Maybe not on a global scale, but it’s getting bigger as America blunders from country to country.
Fajsz: How far will they go? Are they gonna attack China?
Lemmy: I don’t think, that’ll be a very good idea. I don’t think so. They can make too much out of the trade agreements. But I think that America’s gonna fuck up, now that George Bush got back in for four years. He’s gonna lance his crusades I can hear it coming. ‘Cause that’s all he can do, he has to take the mind of the economy somehow.
Fajsz: What kind of person do you think he is?
Lemmy: He is obviously not just an asshole, because he’s clever. He got elected again, you know. On the coasts of America he’s very unpopular, but in the middle of the country they think he can protect them best. ‘Cause he’s a hardliner, and that’s what people want there. These are all the people with the guns in the back of the truck, doing arm wrestling and that fuckin’ kind of thing. I mean, there’s people like that in England and Germany too, there’s just more of ‘em in America and they pushed the vote, that’s it. You can’t just say, that those people don’t have a vote. That’s the reason why Gerhard Schröder is in Berlin. Not because he’s the best for the job, right? But there’s no alternative, also not to Blair or to Bush. And it doesn’t matter, how close a vote is Bush made it by the skin of his teeth.
Enough politics, enough history. I want to talk about personal things.
Fajsz: What are you gonna do on December 24th? (His 59. Birthday).
Lemmy: Fuck, I’m not gonna be home until the 22nd. So I’ll probably be asleep. Jetlag. I don’t throw parties. I’ve seen too many houses fuckin’ ruined by parties to go and throw any. Nobody’s gonna throw up in MY bathtub or fuck in MY yard. But somebody will throw one it’s Christmas. So if I want, I can go to somebody else’s party and say: “Hey, it’s my birthday” in the middle of it.
Fajsz: God and Christianity don’t have too much meaning to you, but you wrote, that Buddhism is a more friendly religion. Are the Japanese more relaxed people?
Lemmy: Not more relaxed, but more polite. But politeness over there is very often tensioned. There are degrees of polite. They go and bow this far or this far, depending on how important the other guy is. It’s a very rigid society in Japan. Reincarnation makes sense to me, but then, it’s only wishful thinking. You’re hoping, there’s something.
Fajsz: Are you hoping?
Lemmy: Everybody hopes, nobody wants to just go dark, wink out. But I don’t really have a lot of hope for it.
Fajsz: Ever thought about how long you wanna keep going on stage?
Lemmy: Ever thought about how long you wanna be a reporter?
Lemmy: Something we have in common.
Fajsz: Is it your wish to die on stage?
Lemmy: I could think of places worse, under a bus, maybe. I’d like to die just after an orgasm with ...uuh...let me think...Halle Berry would be good! “Aaah! That was great, Baby! Good Bye!”
Lemmy grins while pretending to drop dead off the chair.
Lemmy: I think that was a great quote for the end of the Interview.
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