Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Music: Lemmy

25 Responses

  • David Hood,

    To be fair, everyone is in Brütal Legend (my daughter has a copy).

    He has also been in French and Saunders, it seems to have been blocked by the BBC on YouTube but...

    http://www.cyberfret.com/blog/100-easy-tunes-for-guitar-comedy/

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Tony P,

    Who knew eh? I vaguely remember this happening but having a new born son and not really being a Motorhead fan I didn't go. Wonder what they thought of Napier and other provincial centres. Wouldn't happen today.

    Napier • Since Mar 2013 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Danny Noonan in a Facebook group I belong to:

    No one has mentioned Motorhead at Mainstreet in 1984. Wasn't a Motorhead fan before that night as they 'weren't punk'. Was working behind the bar doing the glasses and jugs that night. Unusually we were provided with safety issue cotton wool to protect our eardrums from damage as it was going to be 'dam loud' we were told. So couldn't hear the punters and my ears rang for 3 days afterwards, comparable to Magazines Sydney gig a few years earlier. Remarkably some young metler half sat inside one of the speakers for practically the whole gig - pretty sure he'll only be able to hear in one ear nowadays. For those that remember the venue, that was the night the upstairs mezzanine (on your right looking at the stage) was damaged where someone(s) jumped a hole all the way through the floor so you could look down at the main level ~ obviously inspired by the Young Ones Scumbag College episode perhaps? All through the night 2-3 coppers would just wander through, keeping an eye open for trouble that never eventuated. Pretty sure that the punters weren't aware that there were the best part of 20 coppers playing cards in the 'ice room' downstairs ready to pounce if it all went off. After the gig finished and the punters had gone Lemmy and the boys, along with some very beautiful but professional ladies, came and sat and talked with us over a few drinks (had just been cleaning up some sick in the mens toilet). Bloody nice geezers. For the first time that night I sort of appreciated that its not a huge gulf between metal and punk ~ started to listen to a bit of metal again for the first time in years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • David Cohen,

    Really nice piece, Russell. The band always seemed ineffably boring to me, but I did enjoy your take on Why They Mattered.

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    “impeccably cool Graeme Nesbitt running things on the road.”

    On and “off ” the road Russell. :-)
    Always a delight to work for ; he gave me my first gig in the Memorial Theatre at Victoria University.
    All those concerts featuring Blerta , Mammal , Dragon , and Powerhouse.

    There is a book in there , if anyone ever dares to tell the stories. Rick maybe?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    O/T.
    A bit of perspective . . . much needed?

    "There’s also the must-have fashion-accessory factor where this latest Adele release is concerned. Just as the nation’s bookshelves once bulged with unread Harry Potter or Bridget Jones books, having a copy of ‘25’ sitting casually on the coffee table when guests visit earns you membership of the ‘in’ club, the club that says we’re all ‘in’ it together. The CD could consist of Adele belching for ten seconds and it wouldn’t really matter. Whatever musical merits it possesses, ’25’ is essentially leisure industry merchandise with the aesthetic value of a T-shirt. Such is the era in which we reside"

    https://winegumtelegram.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/25-or-6-to-4/

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    All those concerts featuring Blerta , Mammal , Dragon , and Powerhouse.
    There is a book in there...

    Didn't John Dix's Stranded in Paradise cover some of this, though not in close detail perhaps, and bits and pieces have surfaced in Phantom Billstickers' fine Cafe Reader recently...

    see:
    http://www.audioculture.co.nz/scenes/john-dix-from-pembrokeshire-to-paradise

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The late Helena McAlpine's ashes will be blown into the sky at midnight tonight at Rhythm & Vines.

    Fantastic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    I was at the 1984 Mainstreet gig, and it was bloody LOUD. It was also bloody good. We were among the last to leave, and Lemmy and the rest of the band just wandered out and started chatting to the bouncers and staff and punters who were still there. As Danny Noonan said, he was a genuinely nice guy.

    Motorhead were the cool end of metal, close enough to the punk ethos to appeal to me at the time, and still do appeal. They were about having a bloody good time and damn the circumstances. I'll miss Lemmy, and I'm going to be sad that he won't be making music any more. For all that Motorhead's albums can sound a bit same-y, there was nearly always a monster track on each.

    Hats off to you, Lemmy, and I think a whiskey or two tonight wouldn't go amiss.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 261 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    If you haven't seen it already, watch Aretha Franklin's majestic performance of '(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman' at the Kennedy Centre Honours.

    Carole King, co-writer of of the song, goes nuts in the audience and Barack Obama sheds a tear.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    the only sane response was to make heroin and other drugs legal and regulate them.

    That has always been the only sane response, yet not one of NZ's esteemed political leaders has got the balls to be sane. Pander to the whatever way the winds blowing has been a very common response

    For all that Motorhead’s albums can sound a bit same-y,

    Live music, well it's always more powerful and to me, a treat
    HNY

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I met Lemmy, well my arse did (ahem), right at the end of the Christchurch Town Hall gig where several of us (male & female) had been stage diving into the crowd all night. It was a fairly brutal atmosphere filled with bikers, punks, skins, students & assorted reprobates as well as the odd frightened old person up in the box seats. All had gone well until my last dig where standing up to dive coincided with the Kilminster doing his patented bass machine gun stage charge. This grubby little skinned-up herbert popped up in front of him & dived out into the crowd with perfect timing to catch a Lemmy snake skin boot up my arse.

    He sent me into orbit, over the front rows and ploughing face first into the Town Hall floor several rows back, sadly missing the catchers and into the folks who move away when human bodies pass by at catching height. I lay there peacefully through the 10+ minutes of the Overkill encore, not sure if I would ever move again, before a couple of mates picked me up & dragged me out of the venue.

    Artistically they were already done by then (the first & proper Philthy Phil era had just finished and Fast Eddie was gone), I never felt the need to buy another album, but I'm so pleased to have seen them (ahem), just that once.

    Also, my mate Milty got stabbed in the bum at the very aggressive Palmerston North gig & Lemmy visited him to offer commiserations, if not a kiss, on the offended area. Happy days!

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I was at Fat Freddy's Drop last night in Wellington and had heaps of fun. At one point, though, I found myself wondering at how the sound people decide how loud to play it all. Obviously you want some foot stomping energy for a track like Razor, which is one of my favourites from the new album, but there seemed to be a tradeoff between getting the rhythm pounding through everything and making it possible to interpret the pitch of all the heavy bass and enjoy the tune as well as the rhythm. Anyone here with technical know how to explain how all that works?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to B Jones,

    ...how to explain how all that works

    Hairs looking at you, kid....
    I'm no expert (in anything) but I put a lot of it down to that 'snail space' known as the Cochlear, potassium balance, pressure and not to mention follicular deterioration in the 'organ of Corti' - we only get so many stereocilia (inner ear hairs tuned for different frequencies) loud noises can damage or kill these diminishing one's ability to filter sound by frequency - the longer people have mixed live sound for the more likely they will have lost various bandwidth receptors - so they'll have to mix by instrument feedback - ie audio analysers (or somesuch).

    </read hearing>

    Doug, are you out there?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to B Jones,

    Anyone here with technical know how to explain how all that works?

    They turn it up to 11 and see if anybody's ears bleed.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to B Jones,

    Obviously you want some foot stomping energy for a track like Razor, which is one of my favourites from the new album, but there seemed to be a tradeoff between getting the rhythm pounding through everything and making it possible to interpret the pitch of all the heavy bass and enjoy the tune as well as the rhythm. Anyone here with technical know how to explain how all that works?

    I've been wondering along those lines. The PA installed for FFD's Auckland Town Hall album launch gig was amazing – modern PA systems can deliver bass so focused that it can be very powerful without overwhelming everything else. 'Razor' (that bassline!) was incredible at that show. But you can't necessarily reproduce that with a traveling band doing outdoor gigs at wineries and parks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    This grubby little skinned-up herbert popped up in front of him & dived out into the crowd with perfect timing to catch a Lemmy snake skin boot up my arse.

    Great story!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I asked the acoustic engineer in the family and she says some speakers don't do so well at low frequencies, human hearing isn't as sensitive, and that it's a sign I'm getting old, complaining about the noise at concerts.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Pete McDowell, in reply to B Jones,

    Sound Engineers like Rick with FFD use software like Smaart or Systemtune to give themselves an absolute reference and then mix their show relative to that. They are generally pretty aware of aural physiology. Different venue acoustics and council jurisdictions can impose different constraints. Petone is home base for FFDs sound company.

    Since Mar 2014 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I’m sure they know what they’re doing, I’m just curious about the effect I perceived. You know how when the car stereo is on too quietly and you can hear the high frequencies and enough of the vocals to tell what song is playing, but you can’t quite tell what pitch to sing along at? I had a similar effect but at really high volume – I couldn’t tell whether the sound I heard matched the note I expected to hear. I’m just not sure whether the problem was in my brain, my ear, the speakers, or some other part of the setup. I know nothing about sound engineering and don’t have much experience listening to amplified live music, but I normally have a reasonable sense of pitch and it was odd to have that disappear for a few moments. I couldn’t tell that anyone else noticed, so maybe it was just me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The headline could have been better, but Rolling Stone describes Lemmy’s last days.

    In recent years:

    There were some modest lifestyle changes: Lemmy cut back from his more than two packs of cigarettes a day to one pack a week. And after at least four decades of a half-gallon of Jack Daniels every day, he switched to vodka and orange juice and just four or five drinks a day. He still enjoyed his daily speed.

    Diagnosis:

    Two days later, Lemmy complained of chest pains and went to the emergency room, but was released the next day. Doctors found no heart trouble. Singerman and others decided he needed a brain scan “because his speech was getting bad,” he says. There were concerns that he’d had a stroke.

    “Why is he not talking much? He was slurring really bad,” says Singerman. “We took him for the X-rays and they said, ‘Oh, my God, there’s stuff all over his brain and his neck.’ On Saturday, two days ago, the doctor came by the house, brought the results and told us all that he has two to six months to live.”

    It was cancer, and Lemmy reacted calmly. “He took it better than all of us. His only comment was, ‘Oh, only two months, huh?’ The doctor goes, ‘Yeah, Lem, I don’t want to bullshit you. It’s bad, and there’s nothing anyone can do. I would be lying to you if I told you there was a chance.’"

    The end:

    Plans were to put out a press release after informing close friends and family. Nurses were hired to be at his condo in shifts. A morphine kit arrived in preparation of coming pain. A favorite video-game console at the Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Strip that Lemmy loved to play at the corner of the bar was brought over.

    Singerman and others began calling friends and family. Lemmy told his partners in Motörhead on Sunday night, and travel plans were being made for them to visit immediately.

    Singerman and others began calling friends and family. Lemmy told his partners in Motörhead on Sunday night, and travel plans were being made for them to visit immediately …

    A doctor visited early Monday. Ozzy Osbourne would be coming by that day or the next. Lemmy spent hours on the video-game console, as Rainbow owner Mikael Maglieri paid a visit. Then Lemmy nodded off and never woke up again.

    “Mikael called to say, ‘My God, he just died right in front of me,’” Singerman says.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Great piece Russell, great thread.
    Here's an old fave featuring a very snappy Lemmy:

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Here’s an old fave featuring a very snappy Lemmy:

    Ha! What a cameo.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Chrys Berryman,

    Saw a Hawkwind and Motorhead gig at the Music Machine in London in 1976…..me and handful of punters were subjected to the loudest show I have ever attended,……what a way to end my 12 mth hippy trail trip…a beard,hep A,a head full of Morrocan hash,bleeding ears,... and Lemmy…….RIP Lemmy….thanks for the memories and the tinnitus!!!!

    Pt Chevalier • Since Sep 2014 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Chrys Berryman,

    I'm going to have to compose a theme to get the rest of that story out of you Chrys :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

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