Remembering Lemmy: The Bandmate – Dave Brock
"It's great that he made it to 70… I never thought he'd make it to 50."
Hawkwind leader Dave Brock recalls Lemmy's acrimonious split from the band – which led to the formation of Motorhead.
Lemmy was in his mid-twenties when he joined Hawkwind in 1971. Being in a band with him was never dull. We were young and Hawkwind was an eccentric band, so he fitted in with us really well.
He had been a friend of Dik Mik, our keyboard player. Resentment was building up with [bassist] Dave Anderson, who was driving around in a sports car while we were sleeping in the back of the band’s van. So when Dik Mik put Lemmy forward we gave it a go, even though Lemmy had never played bass before.
Because of that, Lemmy played bass like a guitarist and it gave him a style that was all his own. It was the same with those gruff vocals of his. Nobody sang like him. I wasn’t a great lead guitarist, and our styles gelled very well. And as he came up with The Watcher and Motorhead pretty soon we realised that he was also a really good songwriter.
That whole era – Space Ritual, in 1973 – was an incredible time, though you don’t realise these things until many years later. I wish I’d appreciated it more as it was happening, but then again I was pretty stoned for most of the time.
Once when we played at the Roundhouse, somebody spiked up the whole band, and when the time came we had to tell our road manager: ‘We can’t possibly go on yet’.
I used to share a room with Lemmy on tour, which was quite an experience because he would be up for days on end.