Jon Lord got Lemmy into music
Couch comfort: Lemmy
Lemmy Kilmister says he might not have got into rock’n'roll without Deep Purple keyboardist Jon Lord, who passed away last month aged 71.
His sudden death, as a complication of his cancer battle, triggered an outpouring of grief from the rock and metal community.
One of the pioneering performer and composer’s last interviews appears in the Classic Rock Fan Pack tied in with ReMachined: A Tribute to Deep Purple’s Machine Head. The album, an official Purple release, features big-name acts including Metallica and Iron Maiden delivering their renditions of tracks from the acclaimed 1972 record.
Lemmy and Lord first met at a pub gig in Wales in the mid-sixties – and the Motorhead mainman believes it was a turning-point in his life.
He tells the Boston Phoenix: “Jon was in a band called the Artwoods. They were sort of a jazz-blues band, I guess. They played at the place in Wales where I was living, this dingy little boozer.
“I was talking to Jon, and, like an idiot, gave me his address in London. I went down there and he was living with Ronnie Wood, who was in the Birds, and they let me crash on the couch.
“I woke up and I’ve got all the Birds standing around me going, ‘What are you doing on the couch?’ all poking me with the terrible cockney rabble!
“I never forgot that Jon, a complete stranger, gave me his address to come down to London and see him. I often told him ‘thanks’ for that.
“I saw him late last year in a hotel in Germany. We talked in the bar for a while. I’m glad I saw him.”
Lemmy himself has been the subject of many tributes in recent years – including one by Metallica, who made a surprise appearance at his 50th birthday party in 1995, dressed up as “the Lemmys” and sporting copies of his trademark ace of spades tattoo.
“They did,” he says. “With the tattoo drawn on the wrong arm. All four of them!”
But despite being hailed by several generations of rock musicians, he remains “pretty grounded,” saying: “I don’t believe any of that crap. You have to remember where you come from, which is exactly the same place as they come from. It’s just the same, and I got lucky. I’m the one they’re pointing at – later on, one of them will be the one we’re pointing at. It comes around.”