On February 18th, 1991, I had the privilege of seeing Motorhead live, at the Portsmouth Guildhall, on the ‘1916’ tour. Back then, at most rock gigs there was a crush against the barrier, a mosh pit, people jumping and then the static part where people just stood, tapped their feet or banged their heads.
But not at Motorhead.
At Motorhead, nobody stood still. There was no room for a mosh pit because the sea of people ebbed and flowed in great surges, moving as one. The crowd reflected Lemmy and his music; all or nothing, relentless, unforgiving – but together. It was an amazing and strangely moving night that I will never forget.
There was always something about Lemmy. From the position of his microphone to the way he wore his hat. Maybe it was the facial hair, or the gravelly voice, or maybe just the way he dressed – there was something cool, yet somehow unrelenting about the man. You could see it when he was on stage; you could see it from brooding looks in the pages of magazines and you could even see it on film with his cameo in ‘Hardware’.
Lemmy commanded respect, end of story.