Overkill – Motörhead

Today’s post wasn’t planned to be a Motörhead song. But yesterday the final living member of the classic line up, of my all time favourite band died.

Philthy Animal went first back in November 2015. A little over a month later Lemmy left us. Now two years since we lost those guys, Fast Eddie Clarke has gone.

No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith.

Those three, that’s the band who made this song. Sure they made Ace Of Spades too. And Jailbait and (We Are) The Road Crew. They did Bomber and Dead Men Tell No Tales and Stone Dead Forever. Only this line up could have mustered Iron Fist or Stay Clean.

My Motörhead anthem however, is the proto-thrash metal roadmap Overkill. Title track of the classic album Over_Kill.

Glorious on the record. Even better on the live album No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith. This one was always unparalleled if you were ever in the same room as the band while they played it.

It’s a cheeky cunt of a song. It wont behave. Five minutes of relentless rhythm, buzzing guitar attack and it has several false endings. It’s rock and it’s roll and it’s rebellion made noise.

The manifesto for great rock and roll and a life on the limits is laid out in the lyrics.

“The only way to feel the noise is when it’s good and loud. So good I can’t believe it screaming with the crowd, Don’t sweat it, we’ll give it back to you”

A song about songs for sure. The sort of song that puts a young man in mind of how he wants to approach the world. Without reserve or tentative provision. Going for it. Full on. ‘Have a good time, all the time’ as the saying goes.

“On your feet you feel the beat, it goes straight to your spine, shake your head you must be dead if it don’t make you fly, don’t sweat it, we’ll get it back to you”

Not a recipie for domestic bliss. Or one many stick with into adulthood and responsibilities. It’s a folly this song. And yet, it leaves it’s mark on you a philosophy like that.

So you grow up. You cut your hair or else it goes grey or thin. Or you don’t, but still you get new interests and you diversify. You behave like everyone else. You sit in an office with, ride on trains with and attend barbecues with, people who never loved Motörhead.

People who never stood in the bright lights of the opening number as their hearing adjusted to the wall of amps. Who never swam in the overwhelming heat, noise and flashes trying to make out which song was being played just in time for the chorus. When everyone would get the tune at the same point. And scream the words into the air. Motörhead Live. There’s nothing else like it. There wasn’t anyway…

Eventually music gets to be something that’s talked about rather than experienced.

“Know your body’s made to move, ya feel it in your guts, Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t worth the name if it don’t make ya strut, don’t sweat it, we’ll get it back to you”

There are still nights once in a while. In the theatres and the clubs when the noise and the light can take you away to the same place they first took you as a kid. Even though the band might be the age you were when you once came into a dark hall to see what the fuss was all about. When you’re now older and have seen it all a thousand times. That magic can still work.

Even at my age. Once in a while. Watching a show I get that shiver up my spine the way I did when I stood in front of the Mighty Motörhead for the first time and thought ‘Yes, this is it, this is the good stuff’ 



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