Lemmy and at least two other members of Motorhead have endured a rough ride at the hands of their Bomber stage prop.
The aluminium lighting rig first appeared in 1979 and was the first-ever rig capable of movement. Since then it’s made regular appearances above the band, including on their current world tour.
But while it’s a fan favourite, Motorhead don’t always feel the same way about the device.
Lemmy tells Zippo how a ‘flight’ in the bomber set him on a war footing with a roadie: “I once got in it on the encore at Nottingham Royal Theatre. He lifted it up. I had a curly lead that was stretched straight and it was pulling me out of the plane.
“I thought, ‘You bastard – if you get me down from here alive I’ll fucking kill you.’ He lowered my down, but he’d gone. He was out the building before I got on the floor.”
Drummer Mikkey Dee won’t forget the first time he appeared with the prop, as it left him trying to play in a crouching position. He says: “We had it with Saxon opening for us in Hammersmith in 1992. They’d measured my drum riser when it was down – it was a hydraulic riser. When we did the show the riser is like five or six feet further up.
“So when the bomber starts coming down, it comes down big time. Before they stopped it the thing was crushing me – cymbal stands were falling all over the place and drums were being crushed. It was hilarious.”
The aluminium rig gave Dee another ride of his life when Motorhead played in Wembley: “I used to cling onto it during Overkill and it used to fly me up on the walkway, and I’d jump down four feet or so from the tail.
“But this time it moved forward and out on stage. I was way up there in Wembley Arena and my legs are kicking out about twenty metres in the air. They had to land it and drop me off.”
His predecessor Phil Taylor lived through his own blitzkrieg from an early version of the effect. “Before the bomber we had these fireworks on a wire,” Lemmy recalls. “Phil was playing and the wire was loose, so it ran across and came back, and came back, and came back until it was right above him – and the sparks set his hair on fire. How rock’n'roll is that?”
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