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White Line Fever: The Autobiography

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3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,778 Ratings  ·  203 Reviews
'White Line Fever' offers a sometimes hilarious, often outrageous, but highly entertaining ride with the frontman of the loudest rock band in the world.
Paperback, 306 pages
Published 2003 by Pocket Books (first published 2002)
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James Specht
Mar 26, 2008 James Specht rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a whole bunch of trashy rock star autobiographies, and this one stands above the rest. While you do get liberal doses of drugs, fucking, and other rock antics, what separates this one from the pack is Lemmy genuinely seems like a good guy. Sure, he's a bad ass and he can out drink/snort anyone, but he doesn't act like he needs to prove it to you. Also, he forgoes a lot of the trash talk a lot of these books have. Lemmy doesn't need to put others down to make himself look good. Even whe ...more
East Bay J
Sep 26, 2007 East Bay J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Motorhead, Hawkwind, Lemmy and anyone into the rebellious spirit of rock n' roll
Shelves: music-bios
Lemmy rules. This book is incredible. I devoured it. Read it in no time because it’s interesting as hell. It’s well told. I wish it were twice as long. Lemmy’s story in Lemmy’s words is brilliant. It’s true folklore, history being passed down by oral tradition.

The man has a knack for story telling and he has some fine stories to tell. Of course there are tales of drugs, girls, clubs, promoters, constabulary officials, recording engineers, record labels, defections, new recruits, crashes, burns a
...more
Brian
Aug 16, 2011 Brian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think Lemmy is best tolerated in short doses, like at some filthy taproom where you could easily walk out after he's bored you shitless with these tales of how much crank, ass & liquor he's scored in his lifetime. Haven't we all? If I were that fascinated by numbers, I'd have taken up accounting. Halfway through you may find yourself praying for the end. Of the book, your life, whatever. But no; the text continues. In all fairness to His Royal Majesty, the tone of the ghosting kills the bo ...more
Chris King
Apr 03, 2012 Chris King rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is the most half-assed autobiography I've ever read. You get as much out of it as you would sitting around drinking with the guy. And it's written just about that coherently. Avoid.
Cristina Frîncu
Cinci steluțe pentru că a schimbat ceva în mine. Fie și numai faptul că mi-am propus să mă întreb mereu, înaintea unei alegeri dificile, "ce-ar face Lemmy în locul meu?"
Mike
Dec 29, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Lemmy is smarter than you'd expect, and pretty funny at times. He doesn't exactly paint himself in the most positive light but he's also self-confident and unapologetic. He's also brutally honest about other musicians, and his own struggles with drugs and alcohol. I was surprised by how open he was about his use of speed.
Lemmy pretty much did it all in his career and somehow lived to tell the tale.

{updating this since his death was just announced}

I heard an interview with him a bit earlier in 2
...more
Neil Kernohan
Aug 30, 2014 Neil Kernohan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I galloped through this cracking yarn in a couple of sittings. It's written in a fast paced conversational style, almost as if Lemmy is sitting right beside you telling his stories over a glass of Jack Daniels and coke. As rock biographies go it's fairly unbeatable for dry humour, razor sharp wit and astute observations about the music business.
Lemmy begins his tale with an observation about the Christian faith of his parents, one of whom was a preacher who deserted the family when he was just
...more
Ryan Werner
A fun, quick read for anyone interested in the music of Hawkwind or Motorhead, White Line Fever is Lemmy Kilmister being as honest and goofy as one would think.

Lemmy hates the longbox packaging of CDs from the early 90s. He brings it up three times over the course of his 2002 autobiography White Line Fever (Citadel, 0806525908), and while he’s not as scatterbrained and God-sized as David Lee Roth (Crazy From the Heat) or as into faux-debauchery as Motley Crue (The Dirt), it’s these repeated comp
...more
Ben
May 15, 2008 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: speed freaks, the hearing impaired
Recommended to Ben by: Rod McKuen
Very much an oral history, sort of like several nights in a pub listening to the rantings of one of the more entertaining characters you've ever met, who you're also not going to interrupt. Very, very funny, not surprising if you've ever read or heard an interview with Lemmy, and packed with interesting tidbits about life in the fast lane of the twilight zone.

He's opinionated as hell but impressively even-handed in assessments of fellow musicians and other deranged individuals he has encountered
...more
Godzilla
I was left slightly disappointed by this autobiography - I expected more tales of on the road experiences than lemmy recounts in this book.

A recurring theme was the fact that no-one is able to maintain the pace for Motorhead, which I can believe, but gets a bit dull after several repetitions.

There are some interesting insights, particularly in the way that Motorhead record, and the tribulations of record contracts and labels doing the dirty on them.

I guess I expected more salaciousness than the
...more
Jessica T.
Mar 14, 2016 Jessica T. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
R.I.P. Lemmy.
Adrian
Apr 18, 2016 Adrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
La biografía de Lemmy está escrita para que te lo imagines en un bar. Tú llegas a ese bar, pides y Lemmy se te acerca, le preguntas qué tal todo y empieza a contarte su vida, desde sus inicios, saltando de tema en tema según la memoria le va volviendo. Tú le escuchas y la mayoría del tiempo estás atento y disfrutas de su conversación, intuyes que a Lemmy le gusta hablar y que es bastante honesto con lo suyo, aunque a veces suelte alguna cuñadez con la que él espera que te rías y no, mira, Lemmy, ...more
Ashley
WE ARE MOTÖRHEAD!!!! And we play Rock'n'Roll!!!!!!!

EVERYTHING LOUDER THEN EVERYONE ELSE!!!!!!

Went to see Motörhead just a few months ago (before Lemmys untimely demise!)
Anthrax opened for them, it was at the Filmore Detroit (the old State Theater) WAS A GREAT SHOW!!!! We stood in line for about an hour, met a really kool couple and hung with them, got in watched the show. Anthrax kicked it off great!! But we could tell something was not right with Lemmys, we knew about the Texas show 3 d
...more
James
Jan 18, 2016 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was about halfway through this when Lemmy died, which offered me a bit of an object lesson. Reading a book like this with a living Lemmy, I was frequently hit with the urge to strike up a fistfight with the man. Because, let's be honest, he had some seriously stupid opinions on a wide range of issues, and while he might have been more in-your-face and honest about what he was than your average civilian, that just made his blind spots and pretensions more grating. Then he was gone, and I felt m ...more
Gabriela
Jan 05, 2016 Gabriela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, music
Of course, when you die, you become more brilliant by about fifty-eight per cent. You sell more records and you become absolutely wonderful – ‘Man, what a pity we didn’t buy any of his records while he was alive, but still . . .’ I’m sure that’s where I’m going – ‘How about Motörhead? What a brilliant band. If only we’d seen them . . .’

I am happy to say I did see them live and it was absolutely amazing. I have seen quite a few bands in my life and Motörhead is one of the best (actually only Mar
...more
Justin Sylvia
When i picked up this book somewhere on the cape, i didn't expect anything less and i wasn't disappointed. Lemmy was straight up with every little detail ranging from his drug & alcohol use during the various incarnations of Motorhead. He also didn't hold anything back when he gave his honest opinion about the various record labels, band members, tour managers, etc. If he didn't like someone, then he definitely let you know it in this book. Also he admits that there are some things that to t ...more
Nick Black
heh, i had white line fever once, too. had it for a few years!

Motörhead!!

If you like to gamble, I tell you I'm your man
You win some, lose some, it's - all - the same to me
The pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say
I don't share your greed, the only card I need is
The Ace Of Spades
The Ace Of Spades

Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil,
Going with the flow, it's all a game to me,
Seven or Eleven, snake eyes watching you,
Double up or quit, double stakes or split,
The Ace Of
...more
Leo Horovitz
Lemmy presents an hilarious tale of drugs and parties, while always staying focused on the most important subject: the music. All the different bands he's been a part of, met, collaborated with, and been inspired with is what takes up the bulk of the book. Drugs, parties and women is also there all the time, but only ever as an aside, as something that comes along with the rock n' roll lifestyle. There is never any question that what drives Lemmy to go on is the music itself, not the money and f ...more
Xon
Jan 28, 2016 Xon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boring! If you're really into Motörhead then maybe some of this stuff will interest you. I personally didn't care about the revolving door of guitarists, drummers, producers, managers and labels.
I always like hearing of how someone began or made there breakout but, like most readers, I picked this up for some wild stories on tour. Lemmy skims the surface on several different debacles and then abruptly ends them. Once he starts Motörhead he just babbles on and on, it's like reading an index of n
...more
Andy
Aug 29, 2011 Andy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: metal gods
Recommended to Andy by: Rainbow Bar & Grill denizens
Shelves: rock-sleaze
Heavy metal has had it share of wild characters: Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, Tommy Lee, but none of them have written an autobiography as entertaining as Lemmy's. Why? Probably because he's enjoyed a more seasoned history than the others, playing prog rock with Hawkwind, cutting vicious sides for Stiff Records during the '77 punk era (Damned, Larry Wallis, etc.), and of course making his mark with the fabulous Motorhead.
The wit and candor Lemmy displays through the book never fails to entert
...more
Jag
May 07, 2009 Jag rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Lemmy's career, as told through his eyes, is the essence of rock n roll as well as one of the most hilarious books I've ever had the pleasure to read.

As well, it evokes wonderfully the passage of years. From seeing Buddy Holly live, to being a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, opening for Ozzy's first solo tour, to seeing the Rodney King riots outside the studio window.

Quote:

My earliest memory is shouting: at what and for what reason, I don't know. Probably a tantrum; or I may have been rehearsing. I w
...more
April
Jan 19, 2016 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why it took me so long to read this autobiography of Lemmy, but with his passing, I figured there was no time like the present. From a literary standpoint, this book is written how Lemmy speaks, which drives me a little nuts. However, I found it to be amusing and thorough account of his time in the rock n' roll world. Lemmy definitely has some out of touch views of things (the Rodney King riots in LA for instance). However, we are all entitled to our opinions, and opinions are what ...more
Fabricio Alejandro
I love Lemmy, I'm a huge fan. But I got to say that this book was really disappointing. The stories are dull and repetitive, there's a lack of order that sometimes make the reading very confussing. I was expecting more data about his personal life and more insightfull notes - not that there aren't any, but I wish they would be more and more interesting. I've read it in spanish (my natural language) and I can tell that it isn't a good translation; but it was enough to catch the quality of the tex ...more
Jackie
It was great to get some background information about Lemmy's life and his time before and during Motörhead. The whole book is written in an honest way (at least I get that impression), and some parts are really quite funny (however, it got somewhat long and repetitive, which is why I only give it three stars). Lemmy has enjoyed his life every bit, and he was a nice guy after all. And a legend. Without him, metal wouldn't be what it is today.

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Aaron
Aug 29, 2013 Aaron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? Where would the music scene in general much less the metal scene be without Lemmy and Motorhead. I know Lemmy is a popular guy, but I don't think people really know how smart and how good a songwriter he really is. Of course everyone knows about "Ace of Spades", but also he co-wrote "Mama, I'm coming home", "Road to Nowhere", "I don't want to change the world", and "Hellraiser" with Ozzy, "Doctor Alibi" with Slash, and even wrote the song "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." for the Ramones as an ex ...more
Craig
Jun 18, 2009 Craig rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Motorhead is one of the most underrated and underappreciated hard rock/metal bands ever! Lemmy provides us a glimpse into the difficult but somewhat rewarding progress of the band in its myriad versions.
What stuck out amongst the tales of drugs, girls, band drama, and rock 'n' roll, was the brutal determined attitude demonstrated in his tenacity (along with most of the more permanent band members) to stick at what he loved doing, even if it cast him as a troublemaker, outsider, or outlaw (monik
...more
Justin
Jul 22, 2015 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm only a casual Motorhead at best, in fact I'm one of those guys who obviously annoys Lemmy because I only really know Ace of Spades (yeah, ok, maybe a handful more – after all they've been around for ages at this point). Still, the man is a legend in the rock world, particularly for his hard-partying lifestyle. His autobiography - now written 12 years ago and he's still going strong! – reads like a barroom conversation, for both better and worse. It's a breeze to read, it's super funny at poi ...more
Rebecca
Jun 30, 2007 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-2007
Man, if Neil Strauss had had something to do with this it would've been great. As it was, it seemed there was fairly little editing done to it, and Lemmy dictates his life story exactly the way he talks. Entertaining to see, but a little dull to try and follow. Despite that, the stories are good if you can get past all the monotony of the beginning (which is basically just "And then we played this show, and then I joined this band, and we played a show, and then I joined a different band..." and ...more
Patrick Neylan
I love Motörhead. When old Lem popped his clogs, me and a few drunken friends slapped Overkill and Bomber on the turntable and took turns to read what fell out of the sleeve: the long interview with the man himself that I'd clipped from NME in August 1979. This book has fleshed-out versions of the stories he was already telling back then, told in his inimitable style. And it's awful.

Lemmy was a great rock'n'roll philosopher and raconteur – admittedly not up there with Henry Rollins but streets
...more
Lauren
Apr 07, 2008 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Lemmy, what a strange being you are, but how glad I am that you exist. This book is no literally feat but it is extremely interesting and did make me like Lemmy more than I ever thought I would. It's mainly just fascinating to ready about the ultimate rock and roll star ever - one who not only has been in bands longer than I've been alive, but has also had a daily speed habit longer than I've been alive.
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“...the Beatles were hard men too. Brian Epstein cleaned them up for mass consumption, but they were anything but sissies. They were from Liverpool, which is like Hamburg or Norfolk, Virginia--a hard, sea-farin' town, all these dockers and sailors around all the time who would beat the piss out of you if you so much as winked at them. Ringo's from the Dingle, which is like the f***ing Bronx. The Rolling Stones were the mummy's boys--they were all college students from the outskirts of London. They went to starve in London, but it was by choice, to give themselves some sort of aura of disrespectability. I did like the Stones, but they were never anywhere near the Beatles--not for humour, not for originality, not for songs, not for presentation. All they had was Mick Jagger dancing about. Fair enough, the Stones made great records, but they were always s**t on stage, whereas the Beatles were the gear.” 22 likes
“Motörhead is nothing if not democratic, but I don't think it's fair to be waving your dick around when people are minding their own business and might not want to see it.” 15 likes
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