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Motorhead chronology...

1980: Tour over Europe and good old England again. Now the scene boasts a new decoration: Bomber, a complicated structure made of steel beams to look like a "Henkel 111" plane, which soon becomes a band's new mascot, along with Snaggletooth skull, drawn by Joe Petagno. First Motorhead live EP, named "The Golden Years", is released, and it hits the charts on 14th position. Then the band gets filmed for "Top Of The Pops" again. In summer Motorhead become the headliners of a spectacular show in Stafford with Saxon and dozen of other NWOBHM bands, which is attended by almost 14000 people. During this fest it was announced, much to the fans' joy, that "Bomber" LP went silver. Inspired, bastards go to the Jackson studios with Vic Maile as their record producer and blast out their masterpiece, released as an "Ace Of Spades" album and several versions of its only single, including the Christmas 12'', which has the photo of Motorhead members wearing Santa clothes as a cover picture. Radio support with "Love Me Like A Reptile" and "Ace Of Spades", penned by Lemmy during a poker game with Fast Eddie in the tour bus, grants new album a huge success and "sold out" notices to every show.

1981: Philthy gets his neck broken in a drunken brawl (damn, where else he could?). Wishing him a quick recovery, Eddie and Lemmy invite Girlschool lassies to have a splendidly good time together and record an awesome version of rock'n'roll hit song "Please Don't Touch", originally performed by Johnny Thunders & The Pirates, and it becomes a backbone of "St. Valentine's Day Massacre" EP, which immediately gets on the tops of the charts. This project gets two names: Headgirl and Motorschool. And again - amazing success, again - national television and Top Of The Pops, Top 75 and so on! Philthy got back in service short before summer, which allowed the band to rejoice their fans in Europe and England with a headbashing tour, with Girlschool and Tank as show openers. Also, nor Motorhead, nor their management could refuse an offer to play a number of concerts with Ozzy's new band in USA! All the summer America rewards brutal British rock'n'rollers with thunderous applause. But this is not the main event of year 1981. While Lemmy, Eddie and Phil made their new foreign fans slam and bang their heads against the stage, Bronze Records released the band's first live album - "No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith", still being an essential component in boot camp training for world's rock'n'roll rookies. Album punches its way through the Top 75 charts and holds the first place for several months.

1982: "Iron Fist", Motorhead's sixth full-length studio effort, was produced by Eddie Clarke, who, in fact, proved himself to be an adequate sound engineer, already expirienced in studio work with Tank. It was his job that given the band its heavy metal sound. "Iron Fist" was quite a strange album, but it was able to exploit its predecessor's success and settle on highest places in charts (peaked at #6). It was strange in a sense that despite its mediocrity, Bronze Records published the most hit singles from it: "America", "Iron Fist", "Heart Of Stone" and "Go To Hell". Shortly after Iron Fist recording sessions the band goes on USA tour, which is successful again. By the way, there Motorhead meet one of their most passionate fans - Lars Ulrich, whom Phil and Eddie continuously watch getting drunk and performing various antics in this condition. Meanwhile, Lemmy meets Wendy O. Williams, hot brutal blonde of NY Plasmatics fame. They record three songs together: "Masterplan", "No Class" and "Stand By Your Man" (classic country song cover). Eddie Clarke, who engineered these records, couldn't cope with Lemmy and Wendy and left his workplace. Sadly, he left Motorhead too. Lemmy and Philthy search for Fast Eddie's replacement and find Brian "Robbo" Robertson, former Thin Lizzy guitarist. At the end of the year band visits Japan for the first time, but they do not perform their most famous killer-songs: new guitar player waywardly refuses to play Fast Eddie's parts.

1983: Motorhead fans were very troubled when Robbo became a part of their favorite band. Despite his considerable skill and "true" rock'n'roll lifestyle (hard drinking habit, in particular), his looks were, at least, different from what was acceptable from headbangers' point of view: tight transparent jackets, shorts and ballet shoes. Robbo's drunken escapades became proverbial, and were a subject of almost all Rock Commando comic issues, published by New Musical Express magazine. These comics were inlayed in a new album - "Another Perfect Day", released in May, 1983. Robbo's melodically charged guitar parts were backed up with mad energy of Motorhead's rhythm section, with its formula developed during 8 superb years, and this combination unleashed ten powerful songs upon the band's fans, including "Shine", "Dancing On Your Grave" and "I Got Mine", which since became classic. Brilliant Another Perfect Tour of 1983 was exceptional as band never played "Ace Of Spades" during it, and it were Robbo's last gigs with Motorhead - soon he was kicked out.

1984: Ever since his childhood years, Lemmy had a whim of making up short and original nicknames for his fellows. New guitarists were nicknamed Wizzo (Phil Campbell) and Wurzel (Mick Burston). Both were so able and mutually complementary that Lemmy, alone after Robbo was fired and Philthy left because of health issues, preferred to enroll them together. New drummer, Pete Gill, left without nickname, was recruited from Saxon. New line-up takes an acid test, recording "Killed By Death" single, which immediately gets into TV and radio rotation, and three more songs, which were planned to be included in the new album: "Locomotive", "Steal Your Face" and "Snaggletooth". Terms of contract with Gerry Bron and his Bronze Records, however, are inadequate for the band to continue recording sessions, so they undertake serious touring. This year Motorhead visits not only Europe, America and Japan, but also Australia and New Zealand. Bronze Records publishes double compilation album "No Remorse", which includes recently recorded songs, band's classic hits and some interesting rarities.

1985: Motorhead has some serious problems with Gerry Bron and his business. Contract with Bronze is still active, and it states that Lemmy and his fellows are prohibited to record and publish new albums. The band goes on Death On The Road tour, performs benefit concerts in time between court trials. Band members, as usual in such cases, participate in various side projects. Lemmy makes his guest appearance on "You'll Never Walk Alone" single with other worldwide-known rock musicians, takes part in TV-show with Cirsty McCole, meets Samantha Fox and writes her a couple of songs as a sign of friendship. Wizzo puts out some solos for Swiss metal band Drifter. Wurzel performs with Warfare and Fairport Convention. A grand show is held in the middle of the year - The Birthday Party in Hammersmith Odeon, and lots of notable guests arrive: Wendy O. to Metallica. Anniversary gigs are played 'til the end of this year. Meanwhile, copyright for Motorhead songs is partially bought and partially obtained from Bronze Records through court by Doug Smith.

1986: Great Western Road, or simply GWR, is a small record label owned by Doug Smith, with several bands signed, most important among them being Motorhead. New label means new ideas, new sound producer and a new sound itself. Bill Laswell, who took the engineering duties in studio, was already known for his work with Johnny Lydon's Public Image Limited and the Ramones. He did great job during the recording of new Motorhead album, Orgasmatron, but he and sound engineer Jason Corsaro mixed it quite sloppy in the end. That's why this album sounds not like one of Motorhead's greatest killer albums should sound. Olde faithful Bomber decoration was replaced with stuff inspired by railroad, locomotives and so on: platform with Pete's drum kit moved onto the scene on rails! "Orgasmatron", album's title track, became the band's live staple, still included in set lists of most their gigs. It is performed in the same manner as it was during the Monsters Of Rock tour in Castle Donnington: total darkness, only Lemmy's face is illuminated with bleak green light from below. Even now, after the band plays "Orgasmatron", there is at least 5-second long silence in the audience.

1987: Lemmy and Motorhead make their appearance in English black comedy film "Eat The Rich", which has song with the same name from Orgasmatron album featured in its soundtrack. Motorhead play the cannibals' restaurant band. During the making of the movie, they are rejoined by Philthy, who takes the place of Pete who never made it to be a true Motorhead member. All in all, Pete just got everyone annoyed, and Philthy wanted to come back, disgruntled by unfortunate efforts with his own projects. In summer the band decides to make a new studio album, which is to be recorded in different studios. Guy Bidmead is thought to be its producer, but record was actually produced by the band members themselves. "Blessing" speech was made by Michael Palin, one of the owners of Rockwood studio, who gained recognition with his hilarious acting in Monty Python gags - TV show which is, perhaps, too British to be understood somewhere outside its place of origin, just like the aforementioned "Eat The Rich" movie. Though the band had various problems during the recording, album, aptly named "Rock'n'Roll", was 100% Motorhead and surely met fan base expectations.

1988: Doug Smith, Motorhead's long-time manager, and his mini-label, which hadn't the balls to adequately distribute two GWR-recorded albums, were told to bite the bullet, 'cause the band was leaving them. Formally, contract obligations were satisfied with "No Sleep At All" live album, which was recorded, and quite well recorded, somewhere in Finland during the last year tour. Track list is almost completely made up of songs written by the band in its four-member incarnation. Another court session. And, as it's got to be, year of court sessions makes year of side-projects. Lemmy gives video interview for Penelope Sphyris' "The Decline Of Western Civilization: The Metal Years" documental, performs "Can't Catch Me" with Lita Ford for her new album "Lita", writes lyrics for Girlschool song "Head Over Heels" and participates in recording of a few tracks for the Finnish guitarist Albert Jarvinen's solo album. Wurzel plays guitar for Atomgods. The year begins with sharing the stage with Alice Cooper and ends with tour with Slayer as openers.

1989: Lemmy has problems with U.S. citizenship, so he's forced to spend all the time in Europe and England. Well, actually, he's got very little time to spend because of extensive touring, which includes visits to Yugoslavia and Brazil - countries never seen by Motorhead before. "Very little time" means "absolutely no time", er. Struggles with Doug Smith for the rights on Motorhead's own songs... Recordings with German shock lady Nina Hagen... It all results in no new Motorhead material. The band has never written songs with intent for future use. All the stuff was ready just before the recording, or even during the session itself. Exceptions are "Going To Brazil", "No Voices In The Sky" and "Shut You Down", influenced by the fresh memories of visits to Brazil and Yugoslavia...

author: Suicidal | translation to english: Dr.Rock






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