With band members including Larry Wallis and frequent connections with the Pink Fairies and Hawkwind, it’s easy to see how Motörhead dovetailed into the early A&R spirit at Stiff. But they didn’t stick around. In fact they barely even started.
Renowned the world over as heavy metal hellraisers, it’s all just “rock and roll” if you ask front man come living legend Lemmy. “C*** metal? Spunk metal? Left-handed metal? Right-handed metal? Upwardly-mobile metal? This term heavy metal is only rock ‘n’ roll anyway, because metal bands are the logical successors to Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly,” he once told Record Collector magazine.
It was Lemmy that took the name of the last song he wrote with Hawkwind – Motörhead, about amphetamine and speed freaks – and used it as the name for his new band. It was either going to be that or Bastard. They cut a similarly Class A single for Stiff in 1977, White Line Fever (BUY 9), but it never made it to the shops in its own right. Contractual wrangles had the band leave as soon as they’d arrived. And White Line Fever – also to become the title of Lemmy’s 2004 autobiography – only appeared as part of a promo box set – Stiff’s Black Box – which housed the label’s ten Stiff singles.