The Sound Academy
September 2, 2009-09-07
Last time I saw Motorhead, Lemmy was touring with guitarist Wurzel, longtime drummer, Phil “the Animal” Taylor and guitarist Phil Campbell. It was February 13, 1988 in London Ontario, I went solely to see Lemmy open for Alice Cooper, who, at the time, I didn’t really give two shits about.
Now it could have been the double hit of purple microdot I was on, or it could just be the fact that it was and still stands as THEE best show I’ve ever seen. Not only did I get my face ripped off by the mighty Motorhead but I also found out that night why so many people love Alice Cooper.
The venue was the London Gardens, an old tin box that held host to so many bands throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s it’s actually mind numbing to think who’s lit up that building over the years. Everyone from AC/DC, Kiss, Ted Nugent, Ozzy, Black Sabbath, Rush… hell, the old Gardens was the actual venue that Johnny Cash proposed to June Carter in. You name it, if a band was touring in that time frame, they played that intimate little venue.
This night at the Sound Academy in Toronto reassured me of a few things.
One, I was totally reassured that bringing the earplugs to the show and USING them for a change was a REALLY good idea. Same as last time I saw them, they squashed my fuckin head with loudness. Still nothing beats a wall of Marshall stacks cranked to 13. Made my usual earsplitting favourite, Gordie Johnson, sound a little subdued.
Two, I was reassured that Motorhead is still Motorhead. After X amount of years touring and recording, a band often takes a turn for the worse, or at least for the different which kinda throws off the original batch of fans. Well not Lemmy and the boys. They’re still cranking out the same one, two, three, crunch they did right from the very beginning. This probably explains the fact that 75% of their audience is over 35. Of course I’m making up this figure but to spin around at any random spot in that show, you’ll have noticed this couldn’t have been far from the truth.
Three, Lemmy is still the most intimidating and rough lookin dude in rock n roll. No he didn’t spike his hair, dye it, shave, get the warts surgically removed and start wearing Armani. Lemmy is still Lemmy. He’s an old freaky lookin dude that just wants to kick your ass with rock n roll. And kick your ass he does.
His band this time around was comprised of Lemmy, drummer Mikkey Dee and guitarist Phil Campbell. Both Mikkey and Phil had their time in the spotlight showing us what they can (still) do. First time I saw Motorhead, Lemmy introduced Phil as “the best guitarist you’ve ever heard in your life”… well I don’t know about that, but he is pretty fuckin good. The technical ability is definitely there and Lemmy don’t hold him back. Also the 10 minute drum solo Mikkey laid on us proved that Lemmy’s still got a good ear for bandmates.
Touring in support of the latest album “Motorizer”, Lemmy and the boys are filling venues far and wide with some of the best and loudest rock n roll ever. One just never knows when a band’s road will actually come to an end and Lemmy isn’t exactly a spring chicken so get out there and catch one of the most classic acts to tour the planet. Before it comes to an end, go see why so many have said and truly believe, “Lemmy IS God”.