Time Has Come Today
Both Motrhead, the loudest band in the world, andOC Weekly associate music editor Alison M. Rosen turn 25 this year. To celebrate this most pivotal of milestones, Motrhead have written a mind-numbing timeline filled with the most mundane of details, interesting to the band members and, also, the band members.
Rosen wasn't going to write a timeline, but then she got to thinking: "What makes self-important Motrhead think they're so special, damn it? My life has been marked by just as many equally important factoids!"
And so it came to pass:
1975: After being fired from Hawkwind, Lemmy Kilmister decides to form a band called Bastard. When his manager informs him that a band by that name will never get a slot on Top of the Pops, he changes it to Motrhead. The band hits the studio by the end of the year, and during the recording sessions, drummer Lucas Fox is replaced by Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor.
1975: Alison is born in Oakland. Her parents consider other names but go with Alison.
1976: The guys decide a second guitar player is in order, so they ask "Fast" Eddie Clarke to try out. For reasons still unknown, Larry Wallace quits during the audition. Fast Eddie stays, however, thus completing the trio that sees Motrhead through its groundbreaking early years. The band gigs, records and finds a new manager (or two).
1976: Alison is getting better at sleeping through the night.
1977: Motrhead (Chiswick) is the band's first album to see the light of day. The guys' fan base builds, and they start earning a reputation for being very loud, raw, dirty and all those good things heavy rock & roll should be.
1977: Alison says her first word, "Dada," but unlike other babies, she's actually referring to the Surrealist art movement of the 1920s.
1979: Overkill is an immediate classic and hits the charts very strongly. The band tours all over England and lands in jail after some playful destruction at a Finnish festival.
1979: Alison's parents bring home a new, younger, cuter baby from the hospital. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo!
1980: After touring Europe and appearing on Top of the Pops for the umpteenth time, the band teams up with Vic Maile for perhaps its best-known studio album, Ace of Spades. The record peaks at No. 4 on the charts. The accident-prone Philthy ends the year by breaking his neck while engaging in a bit of horseplay with a large Irish fan.
1980: Alison enters kindergarten.
1981: While waiting for Philthy to heal, Lemmy and Eddie team up with the members of Girlschool and producer Maile. The result is The St. Valentines Day Massacre EP. The two groups perform on Top of the Popsas Headgirl. Motrhead makes its first trek to the States as a special guest on Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Oz tour. Motrhead are now bona-fide rock stars.
1981: Alison enters the first grade, where she learns songs about dinosaurs that include lines like "Pterry Pterodactyl, Stegga Stegosaurus . . ." Also, Alison is now a bona-fide reader!
1982: Fast Eddie leaves the band. Motrhead enlist Brian "Robbo" Robertson from Thin Lizzy.
1982: Time to learn handwriting!
1983: Robbo's strange penchant for shorts and ballet shoes and his refusal to play Motrhead's most popular songs does not sit well with the fans. He leaves the band near the end of the year.
1983: There was this kid in Alison's class who got a bean stuck in his nose, and he left school near the end of the year. Not because of the bean, but not not because of the bean, either.
1987: Motrhead performs in Eat the Rich, the black comedy by the makers of the English TV show The Young Ones. Lemmy has a featured role in the movie, and Motrhead also records the soundtrack album. Just before filming starts, Pete Gill leaves the band and Philthy returns [he had left earlier or something]. They record an album with a title that says it all: Rock 'N' Roll.
1987: Alison goes on a weeklong class trip to the Sequoia National Forest. It's fun—except for the fact that it's not fun at all. On the first night, her Walkman is confiscated by a large lesbian computer teacher who bears an uncanny resemblance to Alice from The Brady Bunch. Alison just wanted to rock, but the computer teacher just wanted her to die of boredom and suffocate in her sleeping bag and get up bright and early to inspect pinecones and eat carrot shavings.
1990: Motrhead signs its first full-on major-label record deal with WTG/Sony.
1990: Alison is now a freshman at Corona del Mar High School.
1994: Motrhead records a version of "Born to Raise Hell" with Ice-T and Ugly Kid Joe's Whitfield Crane for the movie Airheads.
1994: Alison goes to college. Much to Alison's chagrin, her mom puts Alison's name on every item and every article of clothing Alison's taking with her. "But Mom, if I lose my underwear, I don't think I necessarily want them being traced back to me," Alison says logically as her mother goes to town with a Sharpie.
1995: Motrhead's 20th anniversary! (Metallica flies down especially for a tribute show at the Whiskey.)
1995: The Horribly Embarrassing and Traumatic Underwear Incident! (It was horrible and traumatic!)
1999: Motrhead release their first live album in 10 years, Everything Louder Than Everyone Else (their third in their quarter-century of existence). Recorded in Hamburg, Germany, it features band- and fan-favorite songs from the band's extensive catalogue, played the way the songs sound best: live and loud.
1999: Alison has been out of college for two years now and toys with the idea of getting a job. Instead, she gets a straightening iron.
2000: Their new studio album, We Are Motrhead, is a strong statement about the band's musical style and shows their commitment not to change anything about their music to fit any one particular trend or passing fancy. The band will tour the States during the summer of 2000 to promote the new album.
2000: On certain days, Alison straightens her hair. On others, she wears it curly. If there's a lot of humidity in the air, she usually opts for curly because of the anticipated frizziness.
Motrhead play with Nashville Pussy, Fu Manchu and Speedealer at the Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600. Tues., 8 p.m. $27.50.
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