Every composer aspires to create a beautiful melody that will have millions of listeners singing along. Nothing compares to thousands of people coming up to a performance and singing a song back to the writer in a perfect union of artist and audience, even though it can take a lifetime to get there. Lemmy, on the other hand, never considered it that way and learned to keep some of Motörhead’s songs at a distance.
Since the late ‘60s, Lemmy Kilmister always saw the rock and roll lifestyle as part of his DNA, originally entering the fold as a roadie for artists like Jimi Hendrix. He never intended to play the bass guitar, but he got the chance of a lifetime when Hawkwind members heard that he could play the four-string instrument. As a result, he became the vocalist and bassist of the band that played space rock music.
After a few too many drug busts and creative disagreements, Lemmy Kilmister decided to go out on his own. He was inspired by the wild man antics of acts from his childhood, such Little Richard, to write some of the craziest music he had ever heard. Lemmy put a lot of effort into every Motörhead album, although he did appear disturbed by being associated with just one song.
With Lemmy showcasing his gravelly voice to great effect and his distinctive Rickenbacker bass sound, “Ace of Spades” will always be considered the band’s anthem despite the effort, sweat, and tears that went into creating their record. Lemmy did have some concerns about fans attending Motörhead concerts only for the song when speaking about it years after the fact, as he revealed to White Line Fever: “I’m sick to death of ‘Ace Of Spades’ now. We didn’t become fossilised after that record, you know. We’ve had quite a few good releases since then. But the fans want to hear it, so we still play it every night. For myself, I’ve had enough of that song.”
Some of the greatest metal bands in the world were paying close attention to Motörhead even if the general audience didn’t want to listen to them for that long following their smash. Acts like Metallica held Motörhead in high regard outside of the hard rock genre, frequently performing songs like “Overkill” and even inviting Lemmy out to appear as a guest on the song “Damage Case” after the fact.
That affection wasn’t simply reserved for the world of rock, though. In the Lemmy documentary, Ice-T quoted the words of Motörhead’s anthem, saying: “You win some, you lose some, it’s all the same to me. I kinda live by that”.