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The Only Card I Need

By Brian Prisco | Film Reviews | March 18, 2010 | Comments ()

It would be pointless to rehash the biography of Lemmy and his long hard climb to fame. What I enjoyed most about Lemmy is that he's unflinching and brutal. He's been on this earth and lived so hard, he doesn't give a shit. Even as he's pushing 70, he's still throwing back hard liquor and going out and doing shows. Lemmy reminded me of Bad Blake, because we writers love a convenient shorthand. But most of the performers he's rocked with -- and by God he's rocked with them all -- attest that the dude may soak up booze like the springbreak sands of Daytona but he's never once fallen off the stage or fucked up a gig or failed to perform. He's got a warped code of honor that works for him. He's partied hard, but will walk away if people start hitting the heroin, since it's killed so many of the people in his life that matter. He collects World War II memorabilia to the extent that probably would qualify him as a legitimate scholarly historian. (How bad would you want to see Lemmy on a History Channel doc correcting a professor before headbutting him in the face?) Most of this is Nazi paraphernalia, but Lemmy laughs off accusations while sitting in a restored tank. He's lived his life as he chooses. While Ozzy toddles about like a nursinghome dementian trying to clean up his hard living ways, Lemmy sits at the Rainbow Room bar, sipping a jack and coke and playing Megatouch trivia. He's unapologetic and unrelenting, but he's also one of the hardest working motherfuckers in the biz, so it's hard to deny him.

Lemmy the doc and Lemmy the man are both hilariously unvarnished. Lemmy could have his own wildly successful reality show, but he just doesn't brook that kind of bullshit. He's not a spotlight hound. You get the feeling he agreed to do the documentary with the same sort of amiable gruffness that has him playing gigs with Metallica or covering "Run Rudolph Run" with Dave Grohl. He's an accommodating dude who does whatever he feels like. Watching him at the question and answer session after the film was just as entertaining as the documentary. You get the feeling Lemmy's used to deflecting stupid fanboy requests. Someone challenged him to a drinking contest, and he laughed and said, "You'll lose." Someone asked him who he wants to play him in a feature film about his life, and his answer was "Helen Mirren." In the lobby, he was having conversations with fans while scoping the asses of the betarted biker chicks who were doing marketing. He's weathered an industry that sands people down and constantly tries to repackage them without once changing. He's just as comfortable jamming one of his classic tunes as busting out oldies with hep cat rockabilly bands. And he's always laughing like a crazy fucking pirate about to board a cruiseliner. So it's hard to deny Olliver and Worshowski their worship-flick. Because after watching this, I'm ready to fucking worship Lemmy, too.

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