Saturday, 21 July 2012

Lemmy (2010)

Ian Fraser Kilmister was born on December 24th 1945. He grew into a man best known for his long hair and beard, his individualism, his followers and his ability to endure experiences that would kill many mere mortals. He could have almost been a new messiah for the 20th-21st century. Instead, he became Lemmy.

This documentary looks at the man, the icon, the personality that Lemmy is. Adored by so many people around the world, it soon becomes clear that if you think of Lemmy as just that guy who had a hit with the Ace Of Spades (an absolutely classic tune) then you don't know how many lives he has touched and what a huge influence he has been on the musical landscape. There is a lot here that will be familiar to you if you've seen Lemmy in any other context - the fashion statements remain somehow cool even when they shouldn't, the Jack Daniels and the cigarettes are always in hand or nearby, the gravelly voice and self-deprecation is on constant display - but as the documentary settles in and starts to look deeper at just what makes the seemingly-indestructible Lemmy tick it becomes quite an eye-opener and a great reminder of why the rocker deserves all of the praise that he receives.

Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski do a fantastic job because in the first few minutes of the documentary you realise that Lemmy is such a larger than life figure and such a unique individual that he could easily become a parody. Somehow he avoids that pitfall but it's only when you have the time to realise that he lives his life the way that he claims to live it. He's not putting on any act just for the public, he talks the talk AND walks the walk. Which is why you have to respect the guy, grudgingly or otherwise.

Dave Grohl, Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Bob Thornton, members of Metallica, members of Megadeth, members of Guns 'n' Roses, Peter Hook, Jarvis Cocker, Steve Vai, Alice Cooper, members of The Damned, Joan Jett, Mick Jones, Ice-T and many, many more people appear onscreen to sing the praises of an unassuming man who has been in the industry for over 40 years and who has lost none of the passion for wanting to make great music since being inspired many years ago by people like Little Richard, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley.

Lemmy works almost perfectly as a documentary about an iconic figure, it reveals plenty about the individual and makes you see him as others do. Sadly, it also feels as if a lot is missed out. It may be the case that a full look at the life of Lemmy would require a 24-hour camera crew feeding live to a website that would also include archival material, that's the case with every living legend. Which is my way of saying that the film isn't perfect but it does what it sets out to do superbly - reminding every viewer that the man at the centre of the documentary IS a living legend.



  1. Lemy is too awesome for a movie anyways :)

    1. Let's not forget his star turn in Tromeo & Juliet. He IS awesome, I can't deny it.