Overkill: The Untold Story of Motorhead by Joel McIver


The book is a compilation of interviews the author did with Lemmy and interviews from various magazines and websites that were done with Lemmy, past and present band members and other musicians. It covers Lemmy’s entire life and career, the band’s line up changes, brief bios of each band member, what songs are on each album and their DVD releases. It’s a bit sad that as I was reading it original member Fast Eddie Clarke died.
The main focus of the book is Lemmy, though the author does give some background on the other band members and the artist who created their mascot, Snaggletooth. I learned a lot about how record companies work through this book. Lemmy mentions that he really had no control of when “Best of” compilations were released or what was on them. The same with live albums. I was also surprised that he didn’t have more money. At one point in the book he mentioned that if he stopped touring he’d have enough to live on for maybe “three good years” and that was around their 30 year anniversary.
Most of the chapters cover a two year period because the band had a two year tour/album cycle. Some of the earlier chapters only cover one year. This is an interactive eBook with links to songs and playlists and plenty of great photos. I really enjoyed that part. This edition is an updated reissue of the original 2012 version and has an added last chapter to cover the deaths of Lemmy, former guitar player Michael “Wurzel” Burston and original drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor.
This was a good book and I learned a lot more about Motorhead and Lemmy. I’m not their biggest fan or anything, but I like their music. The book has left me with a greater appreciation of their impact on rock music and a list of songs that I need to hear. Since they’re from England, the book is very British with slang, English spelling and such. There’s also lots of swearing and mentions of sex, drinking and drug use. If any of that bothers you, this is not the book for you. I’d recommend it to anyone whose a fan of the band.

My favorite quote from the book is “My ethic is ‘eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die’. You can be as careful as you want, but you’re gonna die anyway, so why not have fun?” I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.


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Tanie's Reviews

I love reading, listening to music, watching wrestling and spending time with my friends and family. I read mostly Young Adult books and I love paranormal books, especially vampire ones. I am originally from Connecticut, but I live in Maryland now. I have a book buying habit and I'm addicted to the book section of my local thrift shop.

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