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Music

A list of Lemmy Kilmister's favourite songs of all time

@SamWKemp

When it came to rock music, Lemmy had an impeccable taste – and no wonder. Like so many of his generation, the Motörhead member was raised on classic R&B and rock ‘n’ roll, with artists like the Beatles saying the foundations for a frequently anarchical life in music. Here, the great Kilmister named some of his favourite tracks of all time.

Lemmy’s life before music was surprisingly quaint. Born Ian Kilmister on Christmas Eve, 1945, in Stoke on Trent, England, Lemmy’s early years – like so many cult figures – remain the subject of speculation. All we know is that he was the son of a vicar and that he fell in love with music at an early age – playing in a variety of blues outfits during his teenage years. The nine tracks Lemmy listed during his conversation on the My Planet Rocks show offer us something a bit more concrete: a run-down of his most treasured records, the soundtrack to his life.

As well as singles by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Lemmy chose ‘Human Being Lawnmower’ by The MC5. He was one of the artists who contributed vocals when the remaining members of the Detroit outfit performed a reunion concert at London’s 100 Club in 2003. Lemmy was joined by Motörhead’s Ian Astbury, The Damned’s Dave Vanian and The Hellacopters’ Nicke Andersson, all of whom alternated vocals with surviving guitarist Wayne Kramer to perform tracks like ‘Sister Anne’, ‘Back in The USA’ and ‘Kick Out The Jams’ to a crowd of 350 guests.

Lemmy also named Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 track ‘Love or Confusion’. Originally released on The Experience’s debut album Are You Experienced?, the track was recorded sometime in 1966, probably at De Lane Lea or Regent Studios. Overdubs took place at Olympic Studios on April 3rd, 1967, the same year that Lemmy was working as a roadie for the guitarist.

Lemmy landed the job after meeting Hendrix roadie Neville Chester. “I was sleeping on Neville Chester’s floor — he was sharing a flat with Noel Redding,” Lemmy told Rolling Stone, adding: “So whenever they needed an extra pair of hands I was right there. I didn’t get the job for any talent or anything.” One of the perks of the job was seeing the master at work: “But I did see Jimi play a lot. Twice a night for about three months. I’d seen him play backstage too. He had this old Epiphone guitar — it was a 12-string, strung as a six-string — and he used to stand up on a chair backstage and play it. Why he stood up on the chair, I don’t know.”

You can check out the full list of Lemmy’s favourite songs below.

Lemmy Kilmister’s favourite songs:

  • The Beatles – ‘Slow Down’
  • MC5 – ‘Human Being Lawnmower’
  • The Rolling Stones – ‘Route 66 – Live’
  • Jimi Hendrix – ‘Love or Confusion’
  • The Who – ‘Summertime Blues’
  • The Ramones – ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’
  • The Sex Pistols – ‘Anarchy In the UK’
  • The Damned – ‘Neat neat neat’
  • Led Zeppelin – ‘Black Dog’

Stream a playlist of the songs, below.