METRO DETROIT, MI – Born Ian Fraser Kilmister in Dec. 24, 1945 in Burselm, UK. He was known to millions of metal and punk fans as Lemmy. He was the lead vocalist, bassist, and founding member of Motorhead. This band pulled no punches and delivered a high intensity metal sound. It was a band that delivered a high rocking sound for other rockers. This band didn’t really get a lot of airplay when I lived out in Virginia and I certainly cannot speak for the Metro Detroit market back in the 1980’s but I doubt they paid much attention to them either at the time.

Instead, Motorhead and Lemmy found an audience with the hardcore rock and roll mindset. The heavy metal and punk community clung to them tightly and Lemmy was pretty much regarded as a pop culture icon in the likes of Sid Vicious and Johnny Ramone. He was at that level of rock’s elite. In fact, he was often photographed with them in 1978. Lemmy was seen in the New York rock scene as well as the fringes of the disintegrating punk scene.

During the heyday of Motorhead he was even featured on the BBC punk rock comedy show, “The Young Ones”. The tune they did on that program was, “The Ace of Spades”. You had a sense of reckless abandon meets sheer metal just for metals sake. They were a musicians band and that sort of cult following endeared them to a lot of extreme sports enthusiasts via the WWE. It was Lemmy who performed the song, “The Game” for the popular wrestling show, “Raw” and “Smackdown”.

It was at that time I ran into Lemmy’s promotional camp at the WWE. I remember in particular the crew was getting a bit uptight about Lemmy being allowed to leave the hospital so he could go to a nearby Italian pub. Apparently Lemmy had slipped off a stage and cut his head and had to be treated while on tour in Italy. The wrestling program had to foot the bill. We had to call into Lemmy’s Italian hospital room for an International teleconference in the meeting room.

I remember the head promotions guy cussing and yelling and saying, “When this world is over there will be three things left. There will be cockroaches, rats and…… LEMMY BABY HOW ARE YA !!!” ( Lemmy had picked up the phone). This was a nice save by the promotions guy and I tried my best not to bust out laughing. It was a moment in bad taste. But that’s how we roll in the brutal world of advertising.

What a lot of people out there might not know was that Lemmy loved the whole spectrum of rock and roll music. It wasn’t just one type of genre for this guy – I mean, he really loved it all. You will find him doing covers of Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones and even AC/DC. In closing, we are going to honor the great spirit of this rock and roll juggernaut and play some of his most defining tracks.





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“A VISUAL ASSAULT: REM Dissected Scene By Scene

The bottom video was shot in 1989 and is the closest thing I could find to what the original show opener was like in 1987. This was a departure for REM as much as it was for the audience. Just when you thought you knew the band they changed on you in a new and exciting way. It would take some time to recognize them once again. In the case of, “Document” the album had to grow on me. I noticed this sort of thing happening with the Smiths too.

There was one sequence in the video, not shown in this edition, when the words – “Want” and “Need” come on screen. The words flipped interchangeably and morphed into a strobe that said, “Need Weed” and I remember the crowd going a bit wild over that. This was Ann Arbor after all. There is some talk about the set list being accurate. I do not believe, “Orange Crush” or “Pop Song 89” was performed in 1987. Those songs were released after REM went to Warner Brothers. “Document” was the last album created under the I.R.S. Records label.

There is another version of, “The One I Love” done on the live tour. Stipe starts out with a slow intro and for a minute I thought the whole song would be done slow. It then kicks into the tempo we all know. The stage was also bathed in an eerie red light. How this song got perceived as a love song I’ll never know. It was about a sick love obsession.

Over the years I hear the young kids go, “Oh who cares about that stuff, REM was long before my time.” Trust me, you wish you were there. This show was nothing but historic.

REM in 1987 and the Birth of Alternative Radio in Ann Arbor, Michigan - Crisler Arena >>>>

Echo and the Bunnymen - Meteorites at the Metro in Chicago, Illinois and Detroit

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