Learning the harp - how to take the first steps
If there is one thing that is inseparable in modern society from Christmas, it is the basic principle of charity. Thus, all people seem to act upon the desire to give symbolic joy to their loved ones in the form of gifts. The archaic Judeo-Christian fundamental values, which are of course desirable characteristics in themselves, seem to flourish in full bloom. But if one puts the magnifying glass more precisely on this social, strongly Western-shaped phenomenon, then cracks appear immediately. In the end, contemporary Christmas is a product of the ever-expanding capitalism, which increases the insane consumption pressure that inevitably prevails in the "first world" to the absolute maximum. Absolution of this collective delusion appears in the form of Rock´n´Roll pioneer Lemmy Kilmister, legendary bassist and frontman of the legendary Speed Metal band Motörhead, who was born on Christmas Eve 1945. More precisely, in book form, White Line Fever, the ruthlessly honest autobiography of Lemmy, which he first published together with Janiss Garza in 2002.
At this point Lemmy - or Ian Fraser Kilmister - was still among the living. After his death on December 28th, 2015 (just after his 70th birthday) White Line Fever was restarted. This time in an updated edition, which explores the final years of the greatest of all rock stars in a final epilogue. This was released the following year and also includes an introduction by Lars Ulrich, Metallica's drummer. They are one of the few great bands in metal that openly acknowledge and even praise the influence of Lemmy and Motörhead on their music.
Praise the Lord, and this Lord is the epitome of Rock´n´Roll, because hardly any man on earth is such a synonym for effusive excess as the iconic frontman from England. But behind the hard façade dwells a good-natured, warm man, who was a true romantic and always cared for those who struggled. In this sense, it is essential to set a monument in the light of the real Christmas spirit for the man who has largely determined the direction of rock music. His lessons, of which he gives quite a few in White Line Fever, may help lead a truly better life for oneself.
Enough has already been written about the musical career and the inspiration that Lemmy and his band gave to countless music enthusiasts. The only thing to mention is their band name, which is originally a slang US-American term and stands for speed addicts. The Umlaut has been sealed to make it look cooler, but the name fits the lifestyle! Let's stick with the claim that Lemmy is the closest to personifying the true positive values of Christmas most authentically.
In 13 chapters, White Line Fever describes the excessive life of Lemmy Kilmister, matching his exuberant lifestyle, all chapters are named after Motörhead's songs. His excess consisted largely of alcohol and amphetamine consumption, which he maintained daily into old age. All this substance abuse doesn´t diminish the incredible warmth and respect that he has shown to all his fellow human beings unless the others had no manners: then they ought to get a hiding!
Let´s now turn to the list of some of the lessons of Saint Lemmy. A most important rule when it comes to making music together is to recognize the diversity of each individual. Gender diversity is also integral in the creative process, as naturally arising tensions stimulate creativity. But it is not advisable to take your partner on tour, because this significantly disturbs the intrinsic dynamics of the musicians.
In addition, there is the relationship with the fans, which makes the alpha and the omega for the chance of survival of an active band and should always be accomplished. Without a loyal fanbase, success is out of the question, people need other people because we are social herd animals. Of course, when it comes to romance, St. Lemmy also offers valuable advice. In his own words, he describes being attracted to women who look like bad ladies, but who have brains and hearts aplenty instead. Appearances are not everything, ideally people are beautiful both inside and outside.
Humor, according to Sanctus Lemmicus, is an essential skill that should be trained and maintained throughout life, for one should laugh throughout life. As the German comedian and satirist Karl Valentin pointed out, each thing has three sides: a good, a bad, and a funny one. In addition, regular laughter tightens the facial muscles and keeps aging at bay. Lemmy advises on alcohol and marijuana to become looser and funnier, but ideally you will find your inner clown without any outside influences.
Lemmy's World War II collection, especially Nazi memorabilia, was often misunderstood as sympathy for evil. In White Line Fever, he clears up this prejudice and explains that it is extremely important to know history and not lose sight of it. Because when something is ignored, it gathers strength, or when something is buried, it starts to stink. Finally, Lemmy tells readers that there are two types of people: those who are for you and on your side, and those who are not. A simple but effective equation, which, once recognized, makes life tremendously easier.
What will come as a shock to many is the fact that Lemmy was a real romantic who always made decisions with his heart. It is often the case that people who present themselves to the public in a tough and unapproachable way are often sensitive and vulnerable behind the façade. In White Line Fever, Lemmy gives an honest account of his relationship escapades and his lack of long-term ties. This extreme approach does not stem from the fact that he sees women as pure objects of desire, which is far from the truth! In fact, Lemmy is an advocate of equality, because he was already eager to give talented women within the male domain Heavy Metal a platform back in the 70s, such as Girlschool.
He is said to have been a real gentleman, according to all the women who were involved with him. His attachment disorder stems from the fact that he lost the potential love of his life, Susan Bennett, to whom he also dedicated his memoirs, by a heroin overdose, at only 19 years old! Since then, he has never regained the monumental love he had built for this woman. In addition, she was a black woman, and in the 1960s, advocating open-mindedness and freedom publicly, their inter-ethnic relationship revealed the hypocrisy of society. The love of young people has been demonized by both white and black communities, and unfortunately not much has changed for the better these days.
With White Line Fever, Lemmy and his co-author Janiss Garza have achieved a very special autobiography, which offers more than a factual treatise of a remarkable life. The book provides an intimate insight into Lemmy's mentality and worldview and presents Mr. Kilmister as one of the most humane rockers of all time. The morality of the biography: Lemmy promises the true salvation of the soul with his message of unbridled Rock´n´Roll: Be tough, be firm, but also compassionate and helpful! The true Santa Lemmy calls for life to be lived and to take great missteps and not to stagnate in an imaginary safety, for stagnation leads to a standstill, and that ultimately leads to certain death.
an Fraser Kilmister was born to lose, but he lived to win, and if he could influence whole generations with his authenticity, not to adapt and to stand proud for their values, then he is the greatest victor in the game of life. The power of rock´n´roll can move mountains and serve as an inspiration for a healthy development. Rock on and Happy Lemmy Day!
Did this real Christmas story put you in a festive mood? Did Lemmy`s story catch you and you need more information about rock´n´roll and music in general over the holidays? Then you're right here on mukken.com, here work is regularly done to consecrate the temple of Rock´n´Roll. Not only rock music is covered here, but literally all aspects that are subordinate to the general term music. Whether it's interviews, or coaching articles to singing or instrument advice, or just other features about notable musicians; here at mukken.com you'll find all this and more! You can also see and track our presence on social media, such as Instagram or TikTok. Meanwhile, the mukken.com podcast also exists, wherever there are audible podcasts. So come on board and carry more people into your world so that we can all grow together, because music brings people together.
Originally published on January 30, 2023, updated on February 3, 2023
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