There was only really one album I was never to play when my parents where home when I was growing up. The mere sight of it would cause immediate fear for my parents. They really could never appreciate Doremi Fasol Latido by Hawkwind. If they heard a second of it my parents would immediately be convinced that I was going to turn into a long haired drooling Morlocks from the Time Machine:
I am convinced that one of the main reasons for this belief was the subsonic rumbling that Lemmy’s bass created throughout the album. It could be a truly terrifying sound when matched with DikMik and Del Dettmar’s synth assault and Brock’s mechanical riffing and the thunderous drumming of Simon King but I really truly believe it was the bass that was their undoing. The bass in Lord of light would cause screaming up the stairs at a volume that was quite astounding. I never tried to play any of those early Hawkwind albums when they were home after the reception this one got.
It seemed that everything about Lemmy was deliberately thought out to make parents and other authority figure run in horror, he was however apparently according to those who have met him a truly nice person. The dialectic in action. He seemed to simultaneoulsy repel and attract in equal measures.
His albums with Hawkwind, and Motorhead were responsible for much of my late teen listening. I saw Motorhead a few times and each time it was a physical experience that left me drained and bruised and a little amnesiac. Some times we would even venture to that strange land of Manchester to see them again, and then the festivals as well. It is one of my greatest regrets that I never saw him with Hawkwind, but I really got into going to gigs a little too late for that.
So this afternoon when everyone went out I dragged out the grey vinyl copy and played it loud, very loud and had a think. Next time my parents come to visit I may just get it out again to see what may happen.
It’s a quieter and not necessarily a better world without him.