EXCLUSIVE: Lemmy Talks about the Decay of Good Strip Clubs in LA, Asshole Politicians, and What He's Reading Right Now ("Winnie the Pooh"--No, Really)
Last week, more than usual, it was Lemmy-Geddon in L.A. Starting with the icon-studded premiere at the Vista in Los Feliz of the movie officially titled Lemmy: 49% Motherf***er, 51% Son of a Bitch but more widely known as Lemmy: The Movie or "that awesome Lemmy movie," and with an upcoming showing of the film on VH1, Lemmy is getting the superstar treatment he's long deserved.
Gustavo Turner At the Rainbow: Lemmy's buddy Scottie, Lemmy's son Paul Inder, Lemmy's movie co-director Greg Olliver, lovely Rainbow bartender Kristin, some English dude, Lemmy's movie co-director Wes Orshoski
The movie, made by really nice guys Wes Orshoski and Greg Olliver, could be described as "Anvil without the failure." It's really, really good and a greatly entertaining saga even for non-metalheads. (Lots of amazing interviews with members of Hawkwind as well!).
Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch begins a one-week engagement at Sunset 5 tomorrow.
But here's the best part: we were summoned to the Rainbow on the Sunset Strip for an audience with Lemmy. Lemmy lives nearby and hangs out at the Rainbow all the time with his mate/associate/buddy, the blond-tressed, regalia-attired Scottie. Since this was the afternoon after the Vista screening, nobody had slept much and Lemmy was joined by his son, Scottie, and the two movie directors. All enjoying hair-of-the-dog drinks served by the Rainbow's very able bartender Kristin, Beauty Queen of the Sunset Strip servers (see pic above. She's the one who doesn't look like she's been on a bender).
And so we began our chat with Lemmy:
LA Weekly: One of my favorite LA stories... one day I went to Jumbo's Clown Room. I thought the bouncer was sitting there and handed my ID, and it was you. You're like, 'I'm not the bouncer, mate.' We wanted to ask you questions about the gentlemen's clubs of L.A., if you would like to talk about that.
Lemmy: Alright. [indistinct mumbling]. Ya, I mean I don't know the airport ones, so, you know. Uh, I used to like Crazy Girls, but it's gone 'round the toilet since it changed hands, you know.
How did it change?
Uh, Well, they took the pool table out and they took the touch-screen games out and they changed it all to pink and put the lights down and it looked just like a Lounge Lizard place, and it looks like a typical expensive strip joint, you know, and they put the prices up further... So the only good one left now is probably Jumbo's and Cheetahs, and that's about it.
Cheetahs has also changed now, right? They made it more upscale.
Well they changed, and the doors opened like that and they took the pool table out. I don't know what's the matter with these people. I mean that was, ah, you would go there if you played pool more than you would go there without it, right. I don't know, they take all the attractions out apart from the women, and let's face it, half the women at any strip club at any time are not going to be the best chicks you ever see, right. So you play pool till the other chick comes out [laughs] and you know...
How does the talent pool in L.A. compare with other towns.
Oh it's great. All those hopeful actresses... Thousands of them, thousands of beautiful women in this town, uh, but there's thousands of beautiful women in any town, you know. I've been to most cities in America by now. And uh (mumbles).
How about the music they pick?
Uh, well, Cheetahs is a real unfortunate there. A lot of hip hop, you know. But that's what people like, so you can't bitch, you know, I guess. Understand that. I don't like it, but a lot of people do, so I don't know. Anyway, I'm not really going there for the music.
How long have you been in L.A.?
20 years now.
What made you come to L.A.?
Well, there's the music scene, there's the music business, so it makes sense from that point of view. And also, when you've grown up in dingy rain-sodden England there's all this pictures about this sunshine, palm-trees, swimming-pool place, you think, I wonder if it's really that nice. And then we came here on tour and it was, you know.
Cause you have no idea the difference, you know, the difference in mindset, the sunshine nearly all year round. In England it's drizzlin' rain all year round, right, so you know. And people say, 'oh, it's so green.' Say no wonder, it's all the fuckin' water out there, you know [laughs].
How often do you go back to Britain?
Only when we're working there really.
You don't keep a home there?
No, not at the moment. I gotta get one, you know.
Have you noticed a lot of change in LA in the last 20 years?
I mean, there comes somebody trying to stop you having a good time, you know it's incredible. And all the businesses close, not at 2... they close at 1:30. Some of them close at 1 even, you know. It's a shame, you know. I don't know what. They live in paradise and they keep shootin' themselves in the foot, you know. I don't get it.
And how California can be in debt is beyond me. I mean, it's the richest state in the union and it's like trillions of dollars in debt. What kind of clowns are they voting for to represent them, you know. Wasting all that bread?
Do you get to vote here?
No. I don't wanna vote. Who'd you vote for? There's only the lesser of two evils to vote for in any system and that's not good enough for me. There's nothing I believe in in the political scene anymore.
You study a lot of history...
That's why I know about politicians.
Do you go book browsing here? Or do you go on the Internet? How do you get your books?
Um, I go to bookstores when we're on tour, you know, quite a bit. And uh, I dunno, there's a bookstore just down the road here which is really good, Book Soup. It's a good book store. And there's a lot of newsstands around, you know, around this area, and that's really good too. Good magazines. You know, I like to read a lot. I usually have three books at the same time.
What are you reading now?