DANGEROUS TOYS / BROKEN TEETH vocalist Jason McMaster: Hanging and learning Lemmy things
DANGEROUS TOYS / BROKEN TEETH vocalist Jason McMaster has shared his favorite memories of Motorhead’s Lemmy.
I heard Motorhead for the very first time in spring of 1981. I was about 17 years old and the Ace of Spades record was brand new. They were touring with Ozzy’s Blizzard of Ozz through Texas and my friends had seen them live. I missed my chance at that time.
Fast forward to 1988.
My band Dangerous Toys was recording with Ozzy’s producer Max Norman (Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, Megadeth; Y&T; Fates Warning; Armored Saint; Loudness) at Sound City studios in Van Nuys, California. We all went to the Rainbow Bar & Grill for the very first time, starry eyed with hopes to run into someone famous. That someone was Lemmy. Max busted my balls telling him I did a Lemmy impersonation. Max made me do it for him. It was ridiculous. Lemmy was unphased and super down to earth. We all wound up sitting at his table for hours.
In summer 1991, our 2nd major label release “Hellacious Acres” put Dangerous Toys 2nd on the bill of the legendary Operation Rock N Roll U.S. tour with Judas Priest, Alice Cooper Motorhead and Metal Church.
I saw Lemmy everyday for about two months and got to hang and learn Lemmy things. I have a video of Lemmy wearing “Daisy Dukes” playing guitar and former Motorhead guitarist Wurzel (R.I.P.) just drinking in our dressing room and jamming along on the song “Leaving Here“. I cherish it, even though it is not that great.
Lemmy gave me his number and we kept in touch.(I still have his business card with hand written address and phone number on the back).
In early 1992, we were writing new music and Lemmy offered his lyrical skill to the cause. I still have the hand written lyrics give to me by Lemmy in yellow legal pad paper signed and dated by L. Kilmister. It was crazy to get that in my mailbox.
We dropped by with a cassette of the song at a Motorhead rehearsal, where they were rehearsing with who at the time was their new drummer Mikkey Dee. We hung out, listened to the song and Lemmy says “I wrote it as a 12 barre”, kinda like a WTF moment. We were thinking he didn’t like it that much, that we had opted out of writing something that sounded like a Motorhead song.
The song never made any final cut but the mere fact that he would offer some kid in a band he may not have liked much, a hand in helping with some lyrics still blows my mind.
Me and my friends had a blast hanging with him, touring with him and writing with him. We were not close, but he made us feel that we were all connected.
Fast forward to 2015.
Little did we know. My band Broken Teeth were recording our recently released “Bulldozer” record, we planned for the Motorhead song “The Hammer” to be on it; as it was always a favorite off of the Ace of Spades album. Like most bands, we wanted to have a couple of kick ass cover songs to make it even more fun.
In hindsight, it is very sad to have lost two founding members of the original Motorhead line-up (drummer Philthy “Animal” Taylor and Lemmy) just months after the album’s release.
“Born to Lose, Live to Win“…Infamous words, even while they were walking and breathing in his song or on his tattoo. I say farewell now, to the General of Rock N Roll, Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister. We were not close, but you brought me in and fed me. I will never leave you. Thank you sir.
I believe in Motorhead. Greatest words I’ve ever said, Motorhead, never dead”.
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