As a spotty erk, growing up in the 70’s I kinda just missed punk, then had to sit through a load of post-punk nonsense featuring one finger synth playing and very skinny trousers. Then, aged 13 I came across Motorhead and my life, hair and the amount of denim in my wardrobe changed. ‘Bomber’ had just been released and I loved the artwork by Joe Petagno, the real-ness of the music and that Lemmy seemed to live the life he sang about. Funnily enough I loathed all the other ‘Heavy Rock’ bands of the era. Iron Maiden? Absolute, derivative rubbish. Didn’t like any of them – except Motorhead. Still to this day, I love guitars, attitude, a finger up to society and the swagger of cocky rock ‘n’ roll. And black jeans.
Memories : Going to see Motorhead headline the Port Vale festival on the back of my brothers 250 Superdream. Watching the ‘Bomber’ lighting rig swoop over the audience to the sound of messerschmitt fighter planes. Watching them play TOTP with heads down and hair everywhere. Now, they sound like a pop band. Even now though, if I hear the visceral rush of the Ace of Spades riff, my stomach goes tight and I think of a million things : From the chemistry teacher I fancied, to my best mate who killed himself with The Damned playing on his turntable, to setting the skip on fire outside the local ‘Liptons’ supermarket.
Music does a lot of things. And actually, it doesn’t matter who or what it is. If you get turned on to it, remember it and really listen to it, then it has enormous value. Tastes change, but that vital kick of sudden joy at hearing a track that will change you in someway, forever, is a special moment. Music is to be valued. Never should it become a commodity or utility like water or gas.
Here’s the track that did it: