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White Line Fever: The Autobiography

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  3,184 ratings  ·  158 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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
May 15, 2008 Ben rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Chris King
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.
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
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
Aug 29, 2011 Andy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
May 07, 2009 Jag rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.


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
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
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
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
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
Neil Kernohan
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
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
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.
Rick Carroll
Feb 02, 2015 Rick Carroll rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone That Likes Music
"The industry's building all the time, but they're killing the music. They're trying to, anyway, but I won't let them as long as I'm alive. Fuck 'em, you know. They are disgraceful, stupid, arrogant, forgettable bastards - that's right, forgettable, because people are gonna remember me, but the suits will be forgotten. Fuck 'rm. Who are they? Somebody who worked for Sony? Ha! You'll have to do better than that!"

If there is one word that can sum up my impression of Lemmy Kilmister, it's attitude.
A great autubiography by one of the true grandfathers of rock. It takes you from his childhood to his roadie days and through all the ups and downs of his rock'n roll life. You don't have to be a big Mötorheadfan to get something out of this book. I'm not and I really enjoyed it.
Mika Harjula
I’m a sucker for Rock'n'roll autobiographies, fan or not. Thinking this might be the Headbanger's Ball any given day. They don’t come tougher than Lemmy Kilmister. I was prepared for the most dysfunctional book ever written - My stomach was twisted in knots and almost feeling sick. Honestly!

Instead I found a book that failed miserable. It might have been mine over-expectation or the really poor effort made by the co-writer Janiss Garza. She failed to turn an oral story into an interesting writt
Toby White
I thought this was a truly inspirational read, and found it hard to put down, literally. Highly recommend for all fans of music.
Rog Harrison
For some reason I like reading about musicians and often pick up cheap autobiographies or even borrow expensive ones from the library! I am not familiar with much of Lemmy's music. I saw a Hawkwind concert once in 1972 or 1973 when Lemmy may have been with them though I do have some records he has played on. I liked Sam Gopal's "Escalator" LP for which apparently Lemmy wrote and sang most of the songs. I also bought a few Motorhead singles - "Motorhead" 12", "White line fever" (on the Skydog lab ...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
Lemmy is a very funny man. He also loves a bit of a moan. By the end of the book I felt I had gone through all the stages of a long term relationship: the initial charm of novelty followed by the disillusion of recognizing a person’s quirks and ultimately just loving the whole package. This book is a great romp through Lemmy’s adventures as a rock star from his first aspirations in music to his ultimate almost-legend status. I loved reading about his relationships with other bands like Black Sab ...more
Nick Black
heh, i had white line fever once, too. had it for a few years!


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
Ervin Usein
Rock legend Lemmy's autobiography comes across not so much as a run-of-the-mill rock star diary but as a friendly and honest conversation with the man himself. In a beat-up old bar, preferably. With some Motorhead tunes blasting out of the speakers.

Going through the book, I couldn't help but picture it being read in Lemmy's hoarse voice. The majority of it might be transcribed from various interviews, but its spontaneous and genuine nature is precisely what makes it such a fun read. It's more li
Let's face it...the only reason you are reading this is because you want the full dirt on what it's like to be Lemmy:the sex...the drugs and the rock and roll. Lemmy delivers the goods here in spades (pun intended). The writing style is perfect for the subject matter, as Lemmy goes off on informal, rambling tangents that resemble a drunken chat at the pub and yield some incredibly quotable moments. For sure enjoyment, one of the better rock biographies/memoirs I have ever read.
Nicholas Pell
You know that Lemmy barely penned a word of this and most of it was transcribed from interviews; but that's not a criticism. In fact, it's the raw and conversational quality of the writing that sells what is basically a collection of anecdotes from the mononym himself, Lemmy.

The book reveals quite a bit about his childhood, with the bulk spent on the period up to the founding of Motorhead. Hardcore Motorhead fans might be disappointed, in fact, at how little time is spent on Motorhead. Further,
Noah Gastelum
"If you think you're too old for rock and roll then you are"

Lemmy's autobiography tells us the history of Motörhead in a way no now one else could. And I think thats why I bought the book in the first place. Sure it does chronicle the decades of partying and drug use you would expect to read about (clearly the publisher wanted the reader to think it was primarily about this given the synopsis on the back cover.) I suppose part of me really wanted to read those stories, but I was not disappointe
I like Lemmy, and I luv Motörhead. But there was something missing from this book. Firstly, the language was very dull and repetitive. I hated it when Lemmy kept asking "you know?" in every fifth sentance. And the constant use of exclamation marks just tells of lacking literal skills. The structure of the book was badly disorganized; it jumped in and out of places and people all the time, and it was hard to keep track of it all. Though that must be because Lemmy doesn't quite remember everything ...more
I can't help but compare this book to Ozzy's, since I just finished his last week. Lemmy's book is good, but not as fun to read as Ozzy's. Lemmy writes about the history of his band, Motörhead, and not much else. The book mostly goes like this: we made and album and I really liked it, but no one bought it. Oh, and the record company screwed us over. Again.
I spent a lot of the time wondering why Lemmy didn't just form his own record company, since apparently they all sucked.

I did like the book,
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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.” 11 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.” 11 likes
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