Motorhead icon’s side-project HeadCat sees him going playing in small bars – and reminds him of early days and inspirations
Lemmy’s re-activated side-project Headcat has given him the opportunity to indulge himself with nostalgia for his early days in rock’n'roll.
The Motorhead mainman recently got back together with Rockats guitarist Danny B Harvey and Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom to record a second album, Walk The Walk… Talk the Talk.
And although they haven’t had time to hit the road properly, they managed to arrange a concert in an Idaho bar.
Lemmy tells Rolling Stone: “We play old-time rock’n'roll. It’s feelgood music. It’s music that would persuade your girlfriend to fuck you later.
“We played in Boise, which I’ve never played with anybody else in my life. It was great – just a little bar. It’s nice to get back to that.”
The experience leads him to recall the first show he ever saw, which starred British 60s rock’n'roll star Billy Fury: “He put one silver lamé elf into the spotlight and the fucking place came down – everybody went crazy.
“I thought, ‘This is one leg. The guy’s going to do pretty good when he gets his dick past the spotlight.’ The chicks were tearing their hair out; I though, ‘This is obviously the job for me.’
“After that I saw Gene Vincent, then Nero and the Gladiators. They used to wear Roman soldier outfits while the singer had an emperor’s robe on and a wreath on his head. Those were the days for that – it was great fun.”
Lemmy also namechecks Elvis and says Little Richard is his all-time favourite. “He was the only one with a regular band. He took the same guys with him all the time. All the others had pick-up bands – they used to get local guys to play with them.
“They fucked up doing it like that. Chuck Berry would tell a band, ‘When I move my shoulder you change key.’ What the fuck is that?”
HeadCat first recorded eleven years ago, but their initial release sank without trace, leading to the members losing interest. Lemmy says: “Cleopatra Records didn’t advertise it. I thought it would at least get a few reviews but it didn’t. I was disappointed with that. But we kept getting offers so we did a few shows, did another album, and there you are.”
The difference, he hopes, is Walk the Walk… will be released through Niji Entertainment, the label set up by Ronnie James Dio and wife Wendy before the iconic singer’s death last year.
Lemmy says: “Ronnie was a great man. He had a very British sense of humour, really dark. I spent many an hour in dressing rooms just laughing with him.
“People miss that about him: he was a lot of fun. They think he was this serious Holy Diver geezer but he wasn’t – this is the guy who bought Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell a fucking dress…”