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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Louder than everything else
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...
Published on 18 Sept. 2003 by Chris Weston

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy duty fun
This is tons of fun. I say that with a bit of caution, because amongst all the stories of wildman antics and rows with record companies there are unwanted children given up for adoption, drug deaths and a murder. And I can't say I find Lemmy's views on disability funny, or agree with the argument he uses to justify his collection of Nazi memorabilia. But mostly this is a...
Published on 5 Aug. 2011 by Adam Eterno


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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Louder than everything else, 18 Sept. 2003
This review is from: White Line Fever (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
This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Lemmy's unique gravelly voice comes through the pages clearly, 27 Dec. 2013
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed, but enjoyable, 13 Sept. 2013
By 
Mr M.R.Watkinson (Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (Paperback)
Late in the book, there's a comment from Lemmy about "the woman that helped me write the book." Impossible, then, to know who is responsible for what, but as another reviewer has pointed out, this isn't really an autobiography, it's more a transcribed interview; a stream of consciousness / series of reminisces. Whilst it's arranged in chronological order, as you might expect, it still has a tendency to meander and, at times, to just ramble. I suspect that Lemmy would have done a better job himself, without the ghost writer. "I can't remember the guy's name. Wait, it was..." is unnoticeable when you're listening to an interview, it's how people talk, but it's dumb to transcribe it.

So, fault no. 1 is that it could have been better written without taking any of the Lemminess out of it. He's colourful & outspoken enough that a bit of judicious editing would have taken nothing good or essential away from the book. Fault no. 2 is that Lemmy's lived his own perfect life for the last 50 years; a fairly pure distillation of sex, drugs & rock 'n' roll! However by the time you're nearing the end of the book, it is getting a bit samey, "recorded new album, went on tour, record company were ***** as usual", rinse & repeat. From a purely critical point of view it's a pretty average book.

Despite all that, this is of course Lemmy, a legend in his own lifetime, at least in the world of Heavy Rock & Metal. He's quite happy to say what he thinks, doesn't mince his words at times, and he really doesn't give a damn whether anyone else approves or disapproves. "There's plenty of space in the world for all sorts of opinions and I'm as entitled to mine as you are to yours" is not something he actually says, but you can see it's the way he thinks (& quite right too!). I have, of course, seen & read many inteviews of his through the years. He's always engaging & entertaining, and definitely this comes through throughout, lifting the book from a dull & mediocre "I did this & I did that..." to something well worth your time. It's no classic, not even a 5*, but if you've been a fan of the man or the band at any time, you'll find this a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lemmy: the Last Man Standing, 13 April 2011
This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (Paperback)
I galloped through this yarn in a couple of sittings. It's written in a fast paced conversational style, almost as if Lemmy is sitting right beside you telling his stories over a glass of JD. As rock bios go its fairly unbeatable for dry humour, astute observation about the business and sharp wit. Lemmy begins his tale with an observation about the Christian faith of his parents, one of whom was a preacher who deserted the family when Lemmy was a kid. As the Lemster puts it "I mean you teach people that the Messiah was the offspring of a vagabond's wife (who is a virgin) and a ghost? and this is a basis for a worldwide religion? I'm not so sure. I figured if Joseph believed that one he deserved to live in stables". And so, after Lemmy states his position clearly on life's big question, he then describes in lurid detail how he pursued a different, if somewhat less wholesome existence coupling with girl guides in Anglesey as a teenager, discovering Elvis and rock'n'roll and playing guitar in various local R&B outifits during the 60s, drinking and consuming drugs (he took acid between 1967 until the mid 70s and has been on amphetamine sulphate ever since) and sowing his oats with any willing female who happened to be passing back stage. Most of the book is inevitably devoted to his musical career in Hawkwind, from which he was sacked in 1975 after being falsely accused by the Canadian border police of trafficking cocaine (it was actually his speed stash) and then Motorhead, the loudest and meanest band in the history of heavy duty rock'n'roll. The book provides some interesting insights into how Lemmy and his pals lived a fairly bleak existence in London's bedsit underbelly before Motorhead got a break and found their niche right in the middle of the punk rock phenomenon and how Lemmy's sharp ear for musical trends and lyrical talent for catchy heavy metal rock'n'roll songs took the band to chart success within a few years. As Dave Grohl put it when he reviewed the book, "Lemmy is the last man standing and no one comes close".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Onest story of an honest man, 24 Nov. 2010
This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (Paperback)
Lemmy is THE rock 'n' roller par excellence, therefore his true story is as amazing as you might expect it to be.

Lemmy is above all an honest man, a very down-to-earth guy and a very smart and gentle person: being nothing like a rockstar, his autobiography doesn't need to schock "regular" people with crazy anecdotes. He simply tells about himself in a very natural and friendly way, as if he were talking to you at dinner.
In other words, if you are hungry for extreme dirty stories about offensive behaviours and filthy details about a celebrity's life, just search elsewhere, there's a lot of cursed biographies around whose covers tease the reader with warnings like "unsuitable to sensitive audience" etc.

Personally, after reading just half a page, I was helpless with laughter, so I dare to say that most part of the book is pure fun. It's not a humour book of course, and you really can listen to this great man's genuine story.
You won't be disappointed if you take it the right way.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy duty fun, 5 Aug. 2011
This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (Paperback)
This is tons of fun. I say that with a bit of caution, because amongst all the stories of wildman antics and rows with record companies there are unwanted children given up for adoption, drug deaths and a murder. And I can't say I find Lemmy's views on disability funny, or agree with the argument he uses to justify his collection of Nazi memorabilia. But mostly this is a fast, enjoyable read. The anecdotes come in a torrent, told in a way that usually sounds like Lemmy's authentic voice rather than ghostwriter's prose. Guitars are smashed, women swarm backstage, and band members' sanity comes unglued in all kinds of ways. All these rock and roll high jinks are described with dry amusement, but sometimes the tone unexpectedly shifts and a kind of stubborn common sense comes through, which helps to explain why Lemmy is one of the great survivors.

He gives a rattling good account of a time in the early 60s when one of the lifestyle options for a young man was to become a 'dosser', hitching from town to town, living in squats, scrounging food from girls - like the life on the road glorified in American films, but seedier, in a typically British way. Lemmy was a dosser with a guitar, which led him first into RnB bands in Manchester, and later to London psychedelia, until eventually he joined Hawkwind (by accident).

With the rise of Hawkwind, and then Motorhead, the tours got bigger and the drug use got more manic, and from this point the book is all about the anecdotes. Personal favourites are a story about trying to teach Sid Vicious to play bass (the attempt was futile), and another about the Motorhead boys setting fire to a caravan and pushing it into a Finnish lake, creating an effect which the great man describes rather elegantly as 'very Arthurian'.
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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
By 
Edward Teach (Brisbane, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (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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4.0 out of 5 stars A little louder please, Lemmy, 31 Dec. 2012
By 
GillianEliza (East Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (Paperback)
I was pleasantly surprised by this book - it is a good laugh, and Lemmy comes across as quite a normal bloke - for a hard-as-nails rocker, which he clearly is. There are some amusing anecdotes; a lot of stories about why he fell out with various band members; why he fell out with various recording engineers, record label executives, promoters etc.; and lots of stories about drugs, and full in your face, louder than 11 rock. At the end you wonder how Lemmy survived in a lucid enough state to put this book together, but if you are into loud rock and its proponents, you will probably enjoy it as I did.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 100mph, 4 Sept. 2011
By 
E. R. Evans - See all my reviews
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This review is from: White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography (Paperback)
I must say that I have enjoyed reading this book to a certain degree though I did at times find Lemmys writing style somewhat rushed. You see the storys he tells has no structure to them and jump all over the place, teasing you with a humourous anidote drawing you in and then moving swiftly on to something else leaving you wanting more. This book is a very quick read indeed not for its length but in the detail he misses out. He will recount how he played with another artist and then that will be it, no ifs buts or whys, personally I felt it would have been much better if someone else wrote it .
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White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography
White Line Fever: Lemmy - The Autobiography by Lemmy Kilmister (Paperback - 2 Jun. 2003)
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