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White Line Fever: The Autobiography

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  8,544 ratings  ·  418 reviews
After years of notorious excess, his blood would kill another human being. This is the story of the heaviest drinking, most oversexed speed freak in the music business.

Ian Fraser Kilmister was born on Christmas Eve, 1945. Learning from an early age that chicks really do appreciate a guy with a guitar, and inspired by the music of Elvis and Buddy Holly, Lemmy quickly outgre
Paperback, 306 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Citadel (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  8,544 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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James Specht
Mar 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 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
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Summary: "So I meet this geezer, not a sissy like they are nowadays, and we do a bunch of speed together while I'm shagging his bird (but back to rock and roll eh?). The longbox CD trend was a bad idea. Here are my thoughts on 9/11."

I love Lemmy, I love Motorhead and I love music autobiographies, but this reads like a compilation of Penthouse letters sent to Kerrang! magazine.
Ryan Werner
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was very offensive (not sure what's worse, the anti-feminist & -vegetarianism sentiments or the astrology talk!), but hugely entertaining. One of the best autobiographies I've read. It's like he's sitting across from you and just talking and joking away. You don't have to be a big Motörhead fan to enjoy this one, just being interested in music and people would be enough. ...more
Peter McLean
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Perhaps not the best rock bio I've read, but all the same a fascinating and highly entertaining insight into the life of a legend.
Aurélien Thomas
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music

'Since I was about twenty-five, nothing changed, except I got smarter and wiser and things have an effect on you. But I never thought I was any older, really. It was just a very long twenty-five! I can't imagine being fifty.'

Well, there you go. That tough and rock n' roll/ punky energy that goes on and on and never stop, the louder than everything else -'born to loose, live to win'- and raw attitude that Lemmy incarnated just stemmed from that: an over the top passion for everything hedonistic a
Dec 29, 2015 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
Chris King
Apr 01, 2012 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Feb 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, biographies, 2011
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
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lemmy was a man who lived the rock-n-roll lifestyle through and through. He is the earliest innovator of the genre of music that has shaped my love of music-speed metal. He lived his life exactly the way he wanted and as I don’t agree with all his choices you have got to respect his dedication to living life to the fullest even if it isn’t the life I would choose. It truly was a great read and a journey through the challenges of trying to make it in the music business.
Jessica T.
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
R.I.P. Lemmy.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed Lemmy’s rock n roll story. I’m sad that he is no longer with us. But no surprises here. Some funny stories though.
Neil Kernohan
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
May 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Brian Carlin
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
More PVC than PC. More leather than lather. Reassuringly sexist throughout in a blokey , cursey chummy way.
Jonathan Dennis
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Starts well and is entertaining but gets quite wearing by the end.
Oct 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Jeroen Verkroost
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As rock legends go, Lenmy is one of the greatest. This book is the story of Lemmy’s life in the 20th century, it stops just a little after the year 2000. Born in the glory years of Rock ‘n Roll he tells the stories of his life, his bands, the band members and life on the road. Lemmy loves to indulge and is not ashamed to tell war stories about adventures in the dressing room or the fights he’s had with labels and band members. But what is striking ultimately is that, at heart, Lemmy was a gentle ...more
Benjamin Kahn
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, auto-biography
An amusing read. I later read that Lemmy thought the book wasn't very good, didn't have much to do with him, and was a bit of a whitewash. That's probably good because I've read other Motorhead books with extensive quotes from Lemmy and a little Lemmy goes a long way. Kudos to his ghost writer - he did a hell of a job. ...more
Carlos Claure Soruco
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think it’s the best rock star autobiography I’ve ever read, Lemy is truly a legend, and this book is a proof of that. You can feel pure honesty and it’s so fun to read from begging to end, you just don’t want it to finish.
Stella Ofarrell
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this. Never been a Motorhead fan so was most enlightening to know there's more than Ace of Spades. Left me sad that I'll never experience the madness of one of the shows, because they sounded like something you'd never forget.
Top geezer
Rob Schorr
Dec 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
All hail Lemmy!!
Maxime Opsomer
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch, 100 % great read!

Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining

I have to admit, I was never really a fan of Motorhead. That's not to say I didn't like them, I just didn't ever get round to listening to them a great deal. However, Lemmy always came across as an uncompromising and decent bloke and I thought his auto-biogrophy would be an interesting read, and it was. The style of this is very much Lemmy talking to the reader directly, sometimes rambling, sometimes funny, sometimes impassioned but always honest and sincere. There is no doubt i
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
There's a sentence in the epilogue of this book which perfectly captures why we love Lemmy and what he represented:

"A man who was a lifestyle and made it OK for you to live yours without judgement."

This is what made reading his own words such a joy.
Brian Lucko
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Lemmy in his own words...a wonderful autobiography.

Sad ending with the updated version, though.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of the best memoirs I've ever read. Lemmy is a legend indeed. The book is different than the other memoirs I've read as it feels like Lemmy is right there, telling his stories and jumping from one memory to another. I laughed out loud a lot while reading it and will read it again for sure. ...more
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
WE ARE MOTÖRHEAD!!!! And we play Rock'n'Roll!!!!!!!


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
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