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White Line Fever: Lemmy: The Autobiography
 
 

White Line Fever: Lemmy: The Autobiography [Kindle Edition]

Lemmy Kilmister
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)

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Amazon.co.uk Review

In White Line Fever, Lemmy, the thinking person's Ozzy Osbourne, provides a completely unreconstructed, warts and all account of his excessive life--well, the bits he can, or cares to, recall of it anyway. "That was a great time, the summer of 71", he wistfully muses at one point, "I can't remember it, but I'll never forget it!" Leader of Motorhead for close to 30 years, Lemmy has had more drugs, drinks and girls than hot dinners. His mechanism really has gone--in 1980 his blood was officially diagnosed as toxic to other human beings.

Lemmy, born in 1945 and christened Ian Fraser Kilmister, was a vicar's son. His dad, however, didn't stay around long and he was raised, predominantly, by his librarian mother in Wales. A teenager at the birth of rock 'n' roll, Lemmy first took an interest in music after discovering, as he forthrightly puts it, "what an incredible pussy magnet guitars were". After spells in local beat combos he headed off to Manchester and then London. Here he became a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, played in Opal Butterfly, before pretty much ambling into space rockers Hawkwind's line-up during 1971. This was, of course, an era when the group "would get high in the park and talk to the trees--sometimes the trees would win the argument". Sometimes it sounded as if the trees wrote the songs, too. Four years later speedfreak Lemmy was sacked for "doing the wrong drugs".

Vowing to form the "dirtiest rock 'n' roll band in the world", he put together Motorhead, arguably the heaviest (and according to the Guinness Book of Records for about five years, the loudest) heavy metal band ever to grace a stage. Thrilling buzzsaw songs such as Ace of Spades, Bomber, Killed by Death and Hellraiser (as deep as their names suggest) gained them a legion of headbanging fans. And while Lemmy may spend a little too long berating his former record label Sony and griping about recent albums being overlooked, this sex, drugs and metal memoir certainly goes all the way up to 11. --Travis Elborough

Amazon Review

In White Line Fever, Lemmy, the thinking person's Ozzy Osbourne, provides a completely unreconstructed, warts and all account of his excessive life--well, the bits he can, or cares to, recall of it anyway. "That was a great time, the summer of 71", he wistfully muses at one point, "I can't remember it, but I'll never forget it!" Leader of Motorhead for close to 30 years, Lemmy has had more drugs, drinks and girls than hot dinners. His mechanism really has gone--in 1980 his blood was officially diagnosed as toxic to other human beings.

Lemmy, born in 1945 and christened Ian Fraser Kilmister, was a vicar's son. His dad, however, didn't stay around long and he was raised, predominantly, by his librarian mother in Wales. A teenager at the birth of rock 'n' roll, Lemmy first took an interest in music after discovering, as he forthrightly puts it, "what an incredible pussy magnet guitars were". After spells in local beat combos he headed off to Manchester and then London. Here he became a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, played in Opal Butterfly, before pretty much ambling into space rockers Hawkwind's line-up during 1971. This was, of course, an era when the group "would get high in the park and talk to the trees--sometimes the trees would win the argument". Sometimes it sounded as if the trees wrote the songs, too. Four years later speedfreak Lemmy was sacked for "doing the wrong drugs".

Vowing to form the "dirtiest rock 'n' roll band in the world", he put together Motorhead, arguably the heaviest (and according to the Guinness Book of Records for about five years, the loudest) heavy metal band ever to grace a stage. Thrilling buzzsaw songs such as Ace of Spades, Bomber, Killed by Death and Hellraiser (as deep as their names suggest) gained them a legion of headbanging fans. And while Lemmy may spend a little too long berating his former record label Sony and griping about recent albums being overlooked, this sex, drugs and metal memoir certainly goes all the way up to 11. --Travis Elborough


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2022 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; New Ed edition (8 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AJPX1E
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #19,471 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Louder than everything else 18 Sept. 2003
Format:Hardcover
Lemmy is the kind of rock star that makes you proud to be British. He doesn't take himself too seriously, he just wants to play in a rock and roll band and get laid after the show. In this book (called an autobiography, but it reads like an interview) he recounts his long career in rock, powered by amphetamines and bourbon, and it is a risible ride indeed. Stories of drink-and-drug-induced foolishness abound, along with interesting pen sketches of his fellow band members over the years. I laughed out loud a lot whilst reading this book, you know you're always going to have a good time, all the time, with Motorhead.
It's the life that you're glad somebody led, just to prove that it can be done.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A parable for the ages 30 Dec. 2007
By AMK
Format:Paperback
Sure, lots of celebs enter extremely late middle age as well preserved national treasures; few do so on their own terms. Ian Kilmister--boomer, Capricorn, sometime loudest man on the planet--has lived his life like that Jimi Hendrix song: 'let me live my life, the way I want to'. Superficially, that might seem to add up to forty years of professional excess and little more, but as this work shows, it is actually a case-study in what it meant to grow up working class in the North of England immediately after the war. Nobody did a damn thing for him; he carved out what he did, despite a business that has ignored him, mispackaged him and exploited him pretty much since day 2.
Superficially, the book is about sex, drugs and the rest of it; in reality, its about the way in which popular culture has provoked profound social change in the UK and what it means to live through that social experiment--to live your life as an individual in an increasingly collective society.
Lemmy is at pains to emphasize that this is a life that has worked for him but would not work for everyone. He's quite happy to acknowledge that his libertarian views can translate into some un-PC attitudes--and mostly he's just *happy*, which is quite an accomplishment. Ever notice how successful people tend to be like elephants, reciting every grievance and every professional slight--despite a career full of them, Mr. Kilmister remains philosophical and phlegmatic about being thrown out of Hawkwind, the debacle of 'Another Perfect Day' and getting tossed aside by more record labels than he's had Malboros.
To repeat, this is neither philosophy nor literature, but if you want to know why folk like Dave Grohl seek out Lemmy to work with, then listen to 'Damage Case', read this book and you shall have insight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Sebastian Palmer TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Lemmy's something of a rock'n'roll icon, as famous for simply surviving a life of legendary excess as for his musical accomplishments. If I was a commercially successful musical artist, I reckon that would cheese me off! For all that Motörhead's music is fairly one-dimensional, and that they are chiefly known for one song - the classic Ace Of Spades - Lemmy makes it clear that he considers himself an artist, and that his chief interest is always the music he's currently making.

I have mixed feelings about the mixed messages Lemmy gives off with his unapologetic stance re a life of excessive drug and alcohol intake, but then his ornery 'go my own way' attitude is a very large part of who he is, and consequently also what Mötorhead is. But despite this aspect, which certainly makes for entertaining reading, if not exemplary role-model material, he's rightly proud of having carved out a livelihood in the precarious world of popular music.

Like many rock and pop memoirs, this is a collaboration with a writer (a lady named Janiss Garza in this instance). Whilst I prefer more articulate self-penned books such as Sting's Broken Music, this is nonetheless a fun and informative read. As is so often the case with popular music stories, the early days are the most intriguing, and in this case involve coming up in the hippie era, in a rootless bohemian mode, with our protagonist winding up in Hawkwind. The halcyon days with Motörhead follow, and then the story fizzles a bit, as we near the present.

Like Motörhead's music, this is straightforward, sometimes coarse, often exciting, and aimed perhaps more at the heart and the body than the brain. But it was a quick, easy and fun read, about an interesting life, and Lemmy's unique gravelly voice comes through the pages clearly, so I'd certainly recommend it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last rock hero 3 Sept. 2003
Format:Paperback
In a world of pop music mediocrity and shameless promotion, Motörhead retain an honest integrity that belies its rough and ready image. That it should matter twenty-five years on is testament to one man, Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister.
This riveting autobiography reveals more about the man than has previously been proffered and for devotees and novices alike, it is written with enough character and drama to keep you enthralled until the end. As you turn the pages your jaw remains firmly upon your chest as time after time you wonder just how Lemmy survived it all. What is evident is that the world is a far richer place for his contribution. One would perhaps expect little coherence or worldly logic after the years of hard rocking, but whilst single-minded and brash, Lemmy’s been-there-seen-it-done-it philosophy is as refreshing as it is often controversial.
There can be no other rock artist around today who has remained so true to his roots, despite the incredible obstacles that have confronted him. His extraordinary story is brutally frank, capturing the wild innocence of youth, the transient formative years and the belief in an ‘honest’ rock n’ roll lifestyle. With stepping stones such as the Rocking Vicars and Hawkwind, Lemmy permits us to draw our own conclusions about his character with candid praise and scathing criticism of those who have crossed his path.
This is raw, unpretentious rock and roll, with no punches pulled. As Lemmy approaches sixty, you are left with the distinct feeling that he has only just got going!
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