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A parable for the ages
on 30 December 2007
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.