What's wrong with idiots

Interviews with Lemmy Kilmister weren't just conversations, they were experiences. In 2008, SZ author Alexander Gorkow met the Motörhead front man in Berlin. On the occasion of Kilmister's death, we present the interview to you again.

Berlin. Esplanade. On the other side of the street: the CDU. His hand feels like a car tire. It goes into an ice bucket, cubes in the glasses, whiskey on top, at the end a nuance of cola. His sentences come in a flash, that goes bang and bang after every question. Clearly trained on the big university on the street, in the cold smoke of tour buses and bars of the colorful western world. His voice is of course hoarse. When he thinks something is funny, his laughter rumbles through the suite like a pile of rust. The "Godfather of Heavy Metal" is a bit finished, but in good spirits. Welcome, Captain Hook ...

SZ: Thanks for the ice cubes.

Lemmy Kilmister: Don't worry. . . What have I read again now: Whiskey makes you creative.

Whiskey makes you creative?

Yes. It has been proven.

I am happy to hear this.

I was when I found out. Let's add another shot of Coke. Are you a whiskey connoisseur?

What is a whiskey connoisseur?

Well, noble droplets from the highlands, guarded by gay priests for a hundred years in oak barrels. All that shit.

No, no, with wine yes, with whiskey all this explicitly: not.

Wine ...

Is there anything wrong with wine?

Not really. You gargle through the growing areas, huh? ... Well, we'll both listen to the new CD now.

Gladly later, but first we have to talk: After reading your autobiography I know what I feared: that you - the bad man in rock and roll - have high moral standards!

I have an idea: we'll drink. And hear the new Motörhead CD. OK?

I want to talk to you about morals.

We hear the CD.

What is the essence of your morality?

Oh man ... well, all I can say is what I recommend to those I like.

And that would be?

Stay away from the idiots!

The Principle for Beloved Friends?

Who is talking about love? There are a few people I think are okay. Anyway, I advise them to stay away from idiots. The rule is: eight out of ten.

Eight idiots?

Eight idiots on a good day. Otherwise: nine. On a bad day, you run into ten people and one like the other is a complete idiot.

What is an idiot?

If you were my son, I would say: someone who deals heroin is an idiot. One who takes it is one too. I took everything, brain atom bombs from the most famous laboratories of western chemistry! Plus all legal and illegal special mixtures of methanol. But: never heroin!

Other drugs kill too.

Not correct. Not necessarily.


Here: I move my fingers. I put ice cubes in the glass. Am I dead?

No but ...

... so all other drugs don't necessarily kill. I have to know it.

What do I do when my sons arrive with drugs?

Keep friendliness and calm. And appeal to dignity.

Is that useful with dignity?

Not immediately. But later. We all become soft on dignity. Especially young people. Pride - big issue.

How does that work, this appeal?

I explained about heroin to my son Paul: "Do what you think is right. You are a good boy and your father allows you everything." Paul grinned at me like a sheep, okay? And me: "Except heroin, my friend!"

What did your son say?

Paul wanted trouble, of course, so he asked, "What will you do if I take it anyway, Daaad?" Me: "Then I'll beat you to death, you damn bastard. I don't want you to die slowly. Better, I'll knock you over the head right away."

And today?

Paul is a fine boy. He lives in Los Angeles and is a musician. Like his father. He had good qualifications to go to hell. But he sees when an idiot appears on the horizon. I taught him.

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters says that you, Lemmy, are one of the "very, very few" people in the music industry who stayed decent. . .

... he says it differently! Quote correctly! He says that I'm one of the few people in the entertainment industry who "haven't become an asshole".

How do you recognize such an asshole? I could be one too!

You are not.

How do you know that I'm kind of great and not a ...

I don’t think you’re great at all - and at the same time you’re pretty much not an asshole.

Can I do that for my tombstone ...

... please, go ahead!

So how do you spot an asshole?

Help in life with Lemmy. So. There is a servile friendliness surrounding assholes - and at the same time something busy. At the same time, they are surrounded by this undesirable element. As if their eyes reflect the discomfort they cause in others, for example in, hmm, sensitive people like me.

A typical example of an asshole?

Well, the most famous, of course, is Bush. Even other very big assholes think he's the biggest asshole in the universe. But these are dangerous in everyday life: these special slugs (he uses the word: bootlicker), the ones with the nervous pupils. I always made them harmless immediately.

To the politicians: like you, Lemmy, they rely on a moral.

But on a higher one. I on mine.

What is the difference? Yours is better?


Bush and Blair see it differently.

Part of my moral is that Bush and Blair should lick my ass. If they have their way, I'm filth: I drink, I take drugs, I fuck whores - I love whores, and they love me!

Is that love?

Always from my side. And the women, let's put it this way: They are happy to see me. Better than having a woman at home who isn't happy to see me. Or? ... Hahahaha!

Why don't you just love one woman?

I just explained. Counter-question: Why don't you live ... in Mongolia?

Do not feel like.

And I'm not in the mood for a woman. Lemmydarling, when are you coming home? Why are you only going to the bar again? That will not do. You can't work like that. Touring wives are worse than World War II. I don't feel like it. It's nothing bad. I really treat them all with respect, women, ask them!

Do you like living in Los Angeles?

It's warm there. I freeze so easily. I live on the Sunset Strip, the "Rainbow" is across the street, good drinks, good music ...

Is it true that you still live in a two bedroom apartment?


Why don't you live in a villa?

Why should I?

More room. You have money.

I can't have 30 rooms, man! Stress! There is dead silence in 28 rooms. What for? What for??

What does your apartment look like?

Full. You can't get the door open.

Why full?

Lots of visitors. As I said: The "Rainbow" is opposite ... Another drink? I mean here, this Obama is a smart scoundrel, right? I worry about him.