Age of spades.
The most shocking thing you can say about Lemmy is that he will be 61 on Christmas Eve.
MotUrhead have been rolling for 31 years now and most bands of that endurance have long since passed through rehab into acceptance.
But Lemmy refuses to conform to anyone's idea of what a man, let alone a man of his age, should be - collecting Third Reich memorabilia for example.
'I got Hitler's autograph four times but there's so many forgeries you can never tell if it's real or not,' he says flatly.
'But I have one saying 'Happy New Year and Merry Christmas from Adolf Hitler'. I got that from Ozzy Osbourne so that's a double whammy.
'I should have gotten Ozzy to sign the back of it, Ozzy and Hitler on the same piece,' he laughs.
So even after all this time MotUrhead, basically Lemmy plus two or three revolving others, remain a shunned cousin and this pensionable drug-machine is still hammering his body into the ground in the name of the hardest rock and roll.
'Why should I take care of myself, it's all still working,' he laughs.
'I just had a medical in Berlin. A doctor said I had the liver of a newborn baby, my lungs are fine, my heart is fine - it's incredible, right?
'I can deal with it, it's that simple.'
MotUrhead released their 23rd album, Kiss Of Death, in August and it is still the sound of the Devil's errant son driving an 18-wheeler over the bones of everything anyone holds dear.
The Ace Of Spades is still giving his opinions on the world ('Hip-hop is the worst music black people have ever played') and at the moment it's the bedfellows of religion and the war in Iraq that bedevil him.
'God is deaf, blind and stupid. God is not gonna help you, God is not answering your prayers, you can pray all your life and you never get a thing.
'I don't like the Devil either.
'I'm responsible for what I do and I don't need no excuse.'
All of which leads him very directly into the war in Iraq.
'It's a mess,' he says, shifting forward in his seat, about to deliver a slab of opinion.
'It's George Bush's Vietnam, and now he's about to go into Iran, too, I think, so there'll be two Vietnams, three with Afghanistan, and America can't cope with one, never mind three. You can't fight a guerrilla war with ordinary troops, it's been demonstrated thousands of times. The Germans in World War II couldn't do it in Russia, the Vietnamese beat the Americans, Lebanon, the other one....
'You can't find guerrillas who hide in hills. There will always be more of them and everyone you kill is a martyr so there is no way you can win.
'And of course, the Pentagon loves it because they can get more helicopters.
'That's a very large part of it, the arms industry has a very large lobby in Washington.
'How much do you think helicopter manufacturers made out of Vietnam?'
Will the American people turn on the war?
'Oh yeah, even the most gung-ho Americans, because when your boy comes home in a body bag it changes your outlook, you know.'
For right or wrong, Lemmy believes in what he says and what he does; always has.
MotUrhead play at Cardiff University on Saturday, November 11. Tickets cost pounds 22 from 029 2078 1458.
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|Publication:||South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2006|
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