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Someone help me appreciate Lemmy

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by stringthrough, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. stringthrough

    stringthrough Supporting Member

    There seems to be a lot of love for him on this site and I'd like to join the party.

    I like his voice, he's got the appropriate rock and roll attitude, but his basslines are rudimentary and his tone is trebley and to my ears, unpleasant.

    For context, I like my music funkier and more harmonically developed (Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, as well as fusion artists such as Tribal Tech, etc.), however I enjoy and respect many rock bassist, i.e. Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, McCartney, Sting.
    LeftyD, Mili, Gabbs and 3 others like this.
  2. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Wait for it.....
  3. Thuddy Waters

    Thuddy Waters

    Mar 20, 2015
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm afraid I can't help you, but Killed By Death should be arriving shortly.
  4. Hell of a dresser for one thing:


    Good at holding up amps.

    Herrick, Matt R., fretter and 25 others like this.
  5. ELG60

    ELG60 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    I got nothing
  6. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I’ve never understood the appeal either. Different strokes for different folks.
  7. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    well it kind of sounds like you're predisposed not to like him :D

    which is fine. here's my 2c:

    the eye opener for me was the live album No Sleep Till Hammersmith - you can hear this great wall of distorted bass that doesn't really sound like anyone else. he plays in a very guitar-like way, sometimes with chords, and once I accepted that he's not really a bass-player's-bass-player, it all made sense.

    i think i read somewhere that his EQ settings were: Bass 0, Mid 10, Treble 0. listening to Hammersmith you can believe it!
    taught, Amano, gebass6 and 10 others like this.
  8. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    He was a roadie for Hendrix, but that's not Lemmy in that pic.

  9. The internet is full of lies and let me down!
    Christine, LeftyD, 4StringAxe and 5 others like this.
  10. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    People like different things, and that's okay.
    Herrick, Charlzm, BOOG and 5 others like this.
  11. Oddly

    Oddly Unofficial TalkBass Cartographer! Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Musically I admit Lemmy (and Motorhead) just ain't my cup of tea but he sure as heck had the rock star lifestyle and attitude nailed and for that he had my "like".

    I think his enduring popularity is due in large part to that...probably Keith Richards is the only guy still standing that lived the life to the absolute full like that... we all know deep down its a pretty dumb reckless way of life but secretly we'd all like a taste of it...
  12. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    Dude you either get it or you don't, and I don't think he minds.

  13. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    I think you have to just recognize him for what he was. If you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, you are doing yourself (and the fish) no favours. He played bass the way he wanted to. He made the sound he wanted to. He didn't compare himself to anyone. He went out to support other bands. He was always true to himself.

    When Motorhead first started they sounded like no other band at the time (there's some MC5 parallels to be drawn, but that was earlier). By the end of their career, they really still didn't sound like any other band.
    Many bands tried to sound like Motorhead, but not the other way around.

    As the Oracle at Delphi said, "Know thyself." Lemmy knew exactly who he was. I will miss him.
  14. stringthrough

    stringthrough Supporting Member

    I hear many of you.

    Relevant points:
    For better or worst, he plays the bass differently, like a guitarist. (I will admit he's style really drives MH's music.)
    Love it or hate it he has his own, possibly unique sound.

    Irrelevant points:
    He knows and is himself.
    He's got a rock and roll attitude
    Mili and Phud like this.
  15. stringthrough

    stringthrough Supporting Member

    Dude, ignore that last comment.

    I've heard some amazing musicians who for one reason or another were perfectly happy not gigging.
    joover and rtav like this.
  16. I'm not amazing, but I get tired of the "Your opinion doesn't count, because you don't 'play out'" brigade.
  17. Rojd

    Rojd Supporting Member

    May 29, 2018
    Rocky Mountains
    I've always been a big Motorhead fan, and have seen them many times over the years. Lemmy did his own thing and didn't care what anyone thought. Someone told me once, "While most people think of him as a rock icon, I think he really wanted to be a rockabilly player!" I would agree.

    BillMason, fretter, 4dog and 8 others like this.
  18. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Did that get said here? There’s so much comment deletion going on I can’t follow....
  19. Farseer

    Farseer Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2014
    Parker, Colorado
    I didn't truly appreciate Motorhead until I seen them live. There is nothing flamboyant or passive. Just in your face aggression and, like KBD said, raw. I also, from what I've read and seen in documentaries he was real. Who he was on stage was who he was at the Rainbow. I like that alot.
  20. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I will have to disagree.
    As I gather it, Mr. Richards switched to a lifestyle that is a lot healthier than the one Mr. Kilmister led until the end. Most Rockstars survived a couple of years doing what Lemmy did - for close to five decades.

    I think Motörhead is the nexus between Rock'n Roll, Punk and Metal. No other band I know of can really stake a solid claim in all three genres, having fans from all three camps.

    The bass playing of Lemmy is, as mentioned earlier, not exactly something a bassplayer listens to on his day off, between Stanley Clarke and Les Claypool.
    But it does what it does: It is driving the band. Dirty, loud and with that uncompromising in-your-face attitude.
    In my humble opinion, Motörhead was a group effort thing. None of the single instruments were exactly virtuoso. But the result of it all coming together was more than just the sum of the parts.

    I must admit that I've seen more than a few famous musician's obituaries in the four decades I spent on this planet. Seeing Lemmy Kilmister's was the one that hurt the most.
    By far.
    Motörhead was, among other things, a burning symbol of indestructibility. Some old guys that have been doing this for more than fourty years now, that have pumped out 23 studio albums that all sound exactly like Motörhead and never like anything else, that still go out there and deafen people that could be their grandchildren with their Rock and Roll music played at ridiculous, obnoxious volume levels.

    I never was super hyped when they came to town, because I had the feeling that I'll be able to see them again soon. I can't make the concert? Ok, they'll play one or two festivals soon and they have not released an Album in the last 18 months, so they'll bring out a new one within the next half year and tour again.

    Lemmy Kilmister led, as far as Rockstars go, an extraordinary long life. Nonetheless, I shall miss him dearly.

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