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Massive Metal Monday: Motorhead “Live To Win”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Lemmy Motorhead

To say that I am devastated by the recent deaths of Motorhead founding members Lemmy Kilmister and Phil Taylor is a serious understatement. Motorhead was, and will always be, one of the very cornerstones of metal for me. From the very first time that I heard “Ace of Spades” on MTV in 1981, my life would never be the same. I mean, here was a band that consisted of the most insane-looking drummer that I had ever seen up to that time, a guitarist who played faster than I’d ever heard, and a biker-looking dude with his vocal mic pointed skyward as though he were screaming at the gods themselves with a bass tone that sounded like they were screaming back! Motorhead was the band that bridged the gap between metalheads and punkers. They pretty much invented speed metal and it’s nearly impossible to imagine the existence of all of the metallic hardcore hybrids that followed had they not paved the way.

Much has been said about Lemmy, Phil, and Motorhead’s influence in recent weeks. I was privileged enough to meet Lemmy several times at his favorite watering hole, The Rainbow Bar and Grill right here in L.A. He was a funny, witty, down-to-Earth guy who, it seemed, everyone loved. He even kissed my wife at the turn of midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999. That was a year before we were together, but even if it hadn’t been, Lemmy was the kind of guy who you could forgive for kissing your wife. Everyone in L.A. or who was ever a Motorhead fan has a story to tell. For this Massive Metal Monday, we’ll just raise glass, crank the hell out of our speakers, and let Lemmy break it off for you in his own words. Here from the band who talked the talk and walked the walk is “Live To Win” from Motorhead’s landmark fourth album, Ace of Spades.

Live To Win

You know you can’t be hurt,
You gotta believe in your star,
They’ll always treat you like dirt,
They can only push you so far,
They can’t take it away,
If they’ve got something to say,
They might try and fence you in,
But you’ve only gotta Live To Win
I know it’s hard, a natural drag,
It’s a hassle to fight,
If you don’t wanna be a slag,
If you believe you’re right,
They’ve got the power now,
But soon it’s our hour now,
We all know where we been,
All we do is Live To Win
You mustn’t shout it out loud,
Don’t create a scene,
It’s no good being proud
That only feeds the scheme,
Break down the wall,
Live it up it’s their time to fall,
Anarchy is coming in,
If you know we Live To Win

When I was growing up in rural Indiana in the early ’80s, there was very limited access to heavy music. These were the days before MTV blew up with the whole hair metal, Headbangers Ball phenomenon. But on Sunday nights, there was a two-hour radio show that came from WOXY, just across the state line in Oxford, Ohio (home of Miami University of Ohio). It was called Massive Metal for the Masses, and I would wait all week for it to air. It was through this show that I was introduced to bands like Venom, Bathory, WASP, Michael Schenker Group, Slayer, and countless others. This Monday weekly column is my tip of the hat to that show. I call it Massive Metal Monday. Every week, I pay tribute to defining moments by the artists that laid the groundwork for heavy metal to become the worldwide cultural bond for all of us metal heads.

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