Before his Motörhead days, Lemmy was the bassist for Space Rock band Hawkwind. Although this won't be a surprise to many, the way he scored the role is certainly a little less than standard. The band was holding a concert in Notting Hill Gate and their bassist failed to turn up; thinking on the spot, the band asked Lemmy if he'd like to fill in. Up until this point, Lemmy had never played bass in his life, but obviously, he said yes. Lemmy headed straight onto the stage, fuelled by the kind of rockstar confidence that never left him. Vocalist Nik Turner told him, "Make some noises in E" and this little bit of advice was enough to get Lemmy through the show and to spend the following four years touring as their full-time bassist.
Finding the Right Drummer
After being unceremoniously kicked out of Hawkwind for getting in a spot of bother at an airport security check, Lemmy was ready to set up a band of his own. A band where his taste for anarchic living would not just be tolerated, but celebrated. Motörhead was born, but they struggled to find the right drummer. Lemmy hired a drummer to play with the band and though he was technically competent, he just didn't gel with them on a personal level. At this stage, things were getting a little desperate, but one of his old friends piped up yet again that he could play drums. Until this point, everyone had assumed that he was joking, but it turned out that Phil 'Philthy Animal' Taylor had been telling the truth all along - he really was a great drummer. Phil came to the recording studio and the band chose to have his drumming overdubbed onto almost every song on the album. The deal was sealed and Phil became the new Motörhead drummer. Perhaps having two drummers complete the whole album wasn't the best musical money-saving move initially, but it turned out that Phil would last right until the end with the band.
Recording the Big Hit
Ace of Spades came as part of Motörhead's fourth album, but they've had a total of twenty-two, each of them rocking in their own way. Ace of Spades was, of course, part of every set that the band played and, whilst Phil the drummer never tired of playing it, by 2002 in Lemmy's autobiography he did quip that he was just about sick of it. Whether you were lucky enough to see them or not, Lemmy's enormous personality lives on in all of the musicians he has influenced.