Ex-W.A.S.P. Guitarist CHRIS HOLMES: Why LEMMY Didn't Want Me To Join MOTÖRHEAD

January 6, 2016

Chris Holmes says that Lemmy once told him he would never play in a band with the former W.A.S.P. guitarist because Holmes would "overshadow him" on stage. Speaking to Johan Jakobsson of the Swedish newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning, Holmes recalled a conversation he had with the MOTÖRHEAD mainman in the 1990s. He said: "[Guitarists] Würzel [Michael Burston] and Phil [Campbell] were in [MOTÖRHEAD] at the time. I go, 'Throw Würzel or Phil out, [and] let me play in your band!' And [Lemmy] looks at me and he goes, 'Chris, you've gotta be serious. I wouldn't play with you for a second.' I got mad. I go, 'I'm easy on the road.' And [Lemmy] goes, 'Chris, it's not what you'd be doing on the road. It's about what you'd be doing on stage.' Then I got even madder. I go, 'Fucking what? What are you getting at here?' And he goes, 'Let's say, for instance, I was in the middle of a verse.' I go, 'Yeah?' And he goes, 'Well, you would probably be standing right in front of me.' And I thought about it. Especially if he told me not to, I'd have to do that, just to piss him off. But he meant overshadowing him. I'd overshadow [him by] playing next to him. That's what he meant. It didn't bum me out. But I kind of thought about it. That's the way it is. Being my height [and] the way I play guitar. Everybody plays different on this planet. If you ever meet a lot of musicians, you'll notice their personalities come out on stage — the way they are. The way they are, that's the way they are on stage. The people in the real bands are like that."

Holmes, who was close friends with Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor in the years prior to the former MOTÖRHEAD drummer's death, went on to claim that Lemmy and Taylor's relationship took a turn for the worse when the MOTÖRHEAD frontman refused to entertain an offer for a tour featuring the band's original lineup. Chris said: "Lemmy was cool. [But] Phil and Lemmy, the last few years, weren't really close. If they were, Phil would have been in the [acclaimed documentary] 'Lemmy'. But if you noticed, he wasn't. There's some reasons why. I know why… The reason why Phil was bitter was because a few years ago, somebody had offered — I don't know who it was — 'Fast' Eddie [Clarke, MOTÖRHEAD guitarist during 1976-1982),Lemmy and Phil to do a MOTÖRHEAD tour for about six months, and Lemmy wouldn't do it. That's why Phil didn't do the movie, and I know that for a fact. Phil wanted to do [the tour]."

He continued: "It's sad. Lemmy died of cancer, right? When I was at Phil's funeral, Lemmy wasn't there. 'Fast' Eddie was there. I carried the coffin with 'Fast' Eddie and some other people... We carried it into the… It was a crematorium. Somebody went out and saw MOTÖRHEAD a week earlier on the road… and Lemmy did not look good. No! And if he didn't know he had cancer then, something was wrong. 'Cause you could just tell by [the way] he was talking. It blew my mind. I hadn't seen him for about a year. And that [video of Lemmy] came up on the screen, and I was, like… I don't think he would have been able to carry the coffin…. They said he didn't know he had cancer. C'mon! How do you get that sick and not know? I don't know."

Holmes added: "Too bad [Lemmy] didn't die on stage. [Laughs]… That's where he probably wanted to die the best, you know. Like [late PANTERA guitarist] Dimebag."

Holmes in 2013 released a solo album called "Nothing To Lose". Chris composed, performed, and produced the music and vocals, and teamed up with Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor to perform on and engineer the effort.

Holmes's latest effort, "Shitting Bricks", was released last year via M & O Music.

Holmes joined W.A.S.P. in 1982 and remained with the group until 1990. In 1996, Holmes rejoined W.A.S.P. and stayed with the band until 2001. Holmes has not played with W.A.S.P. since.

Find more on Lemmy
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email