BLACKIE LAWLESS: LEMMY Was 'A Very Complex Individual'
December 13, 2022
During a "VIP Experience" question-and-answer session before W.A.S.P.'s November 26 concert at The Plaza Live in Orlando, Florida, frontman Blackie Lawless was asked for his memories of late MOTÖRHEAD legend Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[He was] a very complex individual. He was human, like anybody else, but he had moments of real insecurity. And I won't go into detail, because it wouldn't be fair to him. But I knew him pretty well. And we had some fun times together. But like anybody else… I mean, there was a very public squabble that happened between us back in the '90s that was nothing.
"He was enormously complex," Blackie reiterated. "I think all artists are, to some degree — some more than others, and I would put him in the 'some more than others' category. The image you saw of him and the man was two different things. Not that he was living a lie, 'cause he wasn't; what you saw is what you got, but you didn't see everything of who he was.
"I'll tell you a funny story about him," Lawless added. "The last show that we did together was about two years before he passed. We were in Romania. We were playing this festival. And it was just ungodly hot. Somebody said — 'cause they measure everything in Celsius, but they tried to figure out what it was in Fahrenheit. It was about 105 [degrees]. And I knew — 'cause we had been on a plane together, him and I, the day before, and I knew he was not doing well. So I was concerned about him. So when I got off the stage, they were going on right after us… And I kind of dragged myself in his dressing room, and I said, 'Listen, you have got to make sure you stay hydrated today.' I said, 'It is unbelievably hot out there. You've gotta make sure you've got fluids in you.' Now, I look. He's sitting at a table. He's got a half-eaten Reese's peanut butter cup, which may not sound like a big deal to you guys, but they don't sell Reese's peanut butter cups in Romania. So where he got it, I don't know. He's got a glass half full of Jack and Coke and it's got ice in it. And he holds up his glass to me, and he goes, 'I intend to stay hydrated. I have many ice cubes in this glass.' And I threw my hands up. I go, 'What am I wasting my breath for?' I go, 'I'm telling you, you've gotta stay…' And I turned around and walked out."
Back in 2006, Lemmy reflected on MOTÖRHEAD's legendary 1997 tour with W.A.S.P. which resulted in MOTÖRHEAD quitting the trek after butting heads with Lawless. Asked to offer his version of events that led to MOTÖRHEAD's departure from the tour, Lemmy said: "We went on the tour. It was supposed to be co-headlining, but he [Blackie] was actually closing the show, 'cause he made such a fucking mess of the place, right?! 'Cause he killed a fake pig with a fake sword and he cut pillows open and threw feathers all over the stage, so by the time he finished with it, it wasn't fit to piss in and I wasn't gonna play [on] it. So he closed the show every night. And he was… I just don't know what it is with Blackie. I've known him 20 years, you know, and he was walking the first five years right past us and onto the stage — not 'Hello,' nothing, not acknowledging [us]. And he's still got his cellulite, old ass hanging out of his chaps, and he's got this mic stand with handlebars — 'the Blackie Lawless complete workout.' And at one gig we had to share a dressing room — well, there was only one dressing room — so we said, 'Okay, we'll go on and then we'll pack up real quick and get out and then you can use it.' And we came back off stage soaking wet to find all our clothes thrown into the hallway. So at that point we said 'Fuck you' and we walked off that tour. There was always two hours before… First band and us, there would be an hour and a half before they would go on, because he had this cheap crew that didn't know what they were doing."
W.A.S.P. just completed its first U.S. tour in a decade. The trek coincided with the band's 40th anniversary and included support from ARMORED SAINT and MICHAEL SCHENKER on select shows.
Lawless is joined in W.A.S.P.'s current lineup by bassist Mike Duda and guitarist Doug Blair, who have been in the band 26 years and 18 years, respectively, along with drummer extraordinaire Aquiles Priester.
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