News Segment


September 5, 2006

NEW YORK (Billboard) – Almost two years removed from a flurry of rumors of declining health, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister is enthusiastically putting to rest any lingering questions of his vitality with a pair of new albums.

Kilmister, who turned 60 last December, recently issued “Kiss of Death,” the 23rd album from his enduring metal act Motorhead, as well as the debut disc from his rockabilly trio, the Head Cat, “Fool’s Paradise.”

Among the 13 tracks on “Kiss of Death” is the timely “God Was Never on Your Side,” featuring friend C.C. Deville of Poison on guitar.

“It’s a mess,” Kilmister told, surveying the strife in Europe and in the Middle East. “You have priests on both sides, blessing tanks, ya know, ‘Thou shall not kill’ and God is always on their side, but then you go and fight each other and get killed — and it doesn’t really matter, right?”

Featuring the likes of Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue Got Married” and Johnny Cash’s “Big River,” the much more sedate “Fool’s Paradise” is Kilmister’s tribute to the songs that he says gave rise to his life in music. Also including throaty covers of songs penned by Carl Perkins and the Eddie Cochran-associated “Cut Across Shorty,” the disc features Stray Cats alumnus Slim Jim Phantom on drums and Danny B. Harvey on guitar, bass and keyboards.

“Without those songs, there wouldn’t be any Motorhead,” says Kilmister, who sings and plays acoustic guitar and harmonica on “Fool’s Paradise.” “Those are my influences right there. Heavy metal is what Eddie Cochran would be doing now if he was still around.”

Kilmister had a scare less than two years ago when doctors in Hollywood recommended that part of an infected foot be amputated. Doctors in the U.K. were able to save the foot and squash the infection, but not before rumors touching on the grave circulated on the web.

“You can’t help thinking about (your mortality) now and again, but that’s only now and again,” he says. “As long as I can walk around and move my arms and legs, I’ll be around. If I have to stop, then I’ll stop. Until then, you’ll be seeing me.”

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