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Lemmy Kilmister, a name synonymous with growling vocals, thunderous basslines, and unwavering rock and roll spirit, wasn’t born Lemmy at all. Christened Ian Fraser Kilmister on December 24th, 1945, this British musician carved his path in the world of music.

He was the driving force behind Motörhead, the band he founded in 1975. Lemmy’s signature look – the mutton chops, the military-inspired clothing – was as much a part of his persona as his gravelly rasp, a voice once declared “one of the most recognizable in rock.”

Beyond the onstage presence, Lemmy was known for his unique bass-playing style, utilizing his Rickenbacker to create a powerful, distorted sound that became a hallmark of Motörhead’s music.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 10 facts you might not know about this rock and roll legend.

1. From Horses to Rock and Roll

Born Ian Fraser Kilmister, Lemmy’s early life revolved around horses. He grew up on a farm and even aspired to be a jockey. However, music eventually took hold, and the world gained a rock icon.

2. Hawkwind Launchpad

Before founding Motörhead, Lemmy cut his teeth in the influential space rock band Hawkwind. He even wrote the song “Motorhead” during this period, a track that would later become the namesake for his most famous band.

3. The Origin of “Lemmy”

The nickname “Lemmy” arose from his borrowing habits. He’d frequently ask for small loans, uttering phrases like “Lemmy a fiver” (British slang for five pounds). The nickname stuck and became synonymous with the rock legend himself.

4. A Poker Pro Before Rock and Roll

Lemmy’s love for gambling wasn’t just a rockstar cliche. In his pre-Motörhead days, he was a skilled poker player, even supporting himself through his winnings for a period. This passion for poker continued throughout his life, with tales of him frequenting casinos during tours. If he were still alive today, one can imagine him playing online and visiting the Yuki Casino to spend some leisure time.

    5. War Memorabilia Collector

    Beyond the rock and roll persona, Lemmy had a fascination with World War II history. He was a collector of war memorabilia, particularly uniforms, and enjoyed discussing the events of the war.

    6. He Was a Roadie for Jimi Hendrix

    Before achieving worldwide fame as the frontman of Motörhead, Lemmy Kilmister cut his teeth in the music industry working as a roadie for the iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

    7. Janet Jackson Fan

    Lemmy was a devoted Janet Jackson fan and expressed a desire to collaborate on a song with her. However, due to restrictions imposed by Sony, his aspiration was thwarted. He had hoped to record a rendition of ‘Black Cat’ alongside Jackson.

    8. The First Name for Motörhead

    Lemmy was advised that a band named “Bastard” would never receive airplay on the BBC’s Top of the Pops music chart. Consequently, he opted to change the name to Motörhead.

    9. The ‘Sex Legend’ Nickname

    Known for his active dating life, Lemmy earned a reputation as a ladies’ man throughout his career. There have been claims of numerous relationships during his time, and According to some estimations, he slept with over 1200 women in his life, even though some claim the number goes beyond two thousand.

    10. Wrote Songs for Ozzy Osbourne

    After coming to America with almost nothing in his bank account, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon were the first to approach and help him. 

    Since he wasn’t in the best situation financially, they offered him to write a couple of songs for Osbourne. And he did. Lemmy wrote six songs for Ozzy’s sixth studio album ‘No More Tears’ and four of them made the final cut.

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