Jimi Hendrix and Lemmy are two of the most influential rockers to have graced the earth and endowed our eyes with their visceral sounds. Whilst Hendrix is undoubtedly the most consequential of the two, helping to take the guitar to a completely different level, this does not negate what Lemmy did for the proliferation of alternative music. His work with psych-rock heroes Hawkwind and speed metal pioneers Motörhead, helped to advance the cause considerably.
Fans of both musicians will be aware of the fact that the two knew each other well, and in the days when Lemmy was still looking to strike it out as a successful musician, for a time he worked as Hendrix’s roadie, and over his career, he shared many anecdotes involving the late ‘Purple Haze’ mastermind. Given it was the days were the hippie movement, acid, and free love were just starting to galvanise young people, the relatively short time that the pair spent together was filled with hijinx, and it is the stuff of legend.
Back in 2000, Lemmy recounted what is arguably his best story featuring Hendrix, and it features a boatload of Lysergic acid diethylamide, known more commonly as LSD. Lemmy was appearing on the candid Channel 4 series All Back to Mine, the premise of which was to sit down with musicians in their homes and talk about their favourite records of all time. This episode was slightly different, as it was filmed in a bar, complete with a bottle of Lemmy’s favourite tipple, Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
At one point in the interview, host Sean Rowley asked Lemmy: “The Summer of Love, the hippies, what was going on around then? Was it not a con?” The eminent Motörhead man responded definitively, “It wasn’t a con for about a year and then it was, you know?”
Rowley then questioned Lemmy on whether he got involved in all that, and the response stunned us all, let alone the host: “I was Jimi Hendrix’s roadie, what do you expect? I mean, he come back from America with 100,000 tabs of acid, right”.
Thunderstruck, Rowley replied: “Who Jimi had?”
“Yeah, and it wasn’t even illegal then, he brought it back in his suitcase. He gave half of it round the crew, I mean that’s a lot of acid, you know?”, Lemmy said. “There was only two of us. Seems ridiculous now, there’s only two of doing all of Hendrix’s stuff, all Hendrix’s stuff. Two of us.”
The excited Rowley persisted, “And what about the acid then, was it a continual trip?” Lemmy concluded his short trip down memory lane by explaining: “Oh yeah. We had so much of it, we had to get rid of it somehow. Because it became illegal, we had to get rid of the evidence.”
Rowley wrapped it up by informing the audience that “This is not an advert”, with Lemmy echoing the sentiment, “No it’s not, no. Just experience talking.”
Watch the clip below.