Pop quiz music fans: Who would win in a wrestling match - Lemmy or God?
There are two reasons that anybody knows who Lemmy is. Either they've experienced any of the highly influential and identical sounding Motorhead albums, or they've read an article in the mainstream press about his extensive collection of Nazi crap.
Since he doesn't hate Jews and isn't a Nazi sympathizer, I have no problem acknowledging that Lemmy is a bona fide innovator who has outlasted pretty much everything. He's like a heavy metal Keith Richards - he cannot be killed by conventional weapons.
With Motorhead, Lemmy merged the heaviness of Black Sabbath with what would become the speed of hardcore punk. By the time I heard Motorhead for the first time, I already knew about both so it wasn't so much life-changing as it was life-affirming.
One of the first bands that Lemmy was in, though, was this Sam Gopal, an early psychedelic metal band named for its founder. Handling both vocals and guitars, it's hard to imagine that Gopal thought himself worthy to carry on after Lemmy left for Hawkwind. (He did, but I'm not covering any of that stuff.)
Every song on the album Escalator is worth it's space on the album, but the song "Escalator" is the one that really gets me. From the galloping tribal drums to Lemmy's desperate pleading for worship to what ends up as a dueling guitar solo by the end of the track - this is one incendiary slab. Put it this way: I had it up so loud in my headphones today that I nearly blew my eardrums. Not only am I proud of this, but I've done it three more times today. And not just because I planned to post it here.
Oh, and the answer to the question above. It's a trick question: Lemmy is God.