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White Line Fever: The Autobiography

(MUSIC LEGENDS & IDOLS)

by
3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,490 Ratings  ·  308 Reviews
Medically speaking, Lemmy should be dead. After years of notorious excess, his blood would kill another human being. This is the story of the heaviest drinking, oversexed speedfreak in the business.

Lemmy quickly outgrew his local bands in Wales, and tripped through his early career with the Rocking Vicars, backstage touring with Jimi Hendrix, and his time with Hawkwind. In
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Paperback, 306 pages
Published 2003 by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd (first published 2002)
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James Specht
Mar 17, 2008 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 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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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 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
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Jessica T.
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
R.I.P. Lemmy.
Chris King
Apr 01, 2012 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.
Neil Kernohan
Aug 30, 2014 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
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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
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Ben
May 15, 2008 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
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Nosmo
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Gabriela
Oct 06, 2012 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
Benjamin Kahn
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Brian Carlin
More PVC than PC. More leather than lather. Reassuringly sexist throughout in a blokey , cursey chummy way.
Eero Sipilä
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mukavan kompakti lukukokemus. Lemmy kertoo elämästään ja urastaan rehellisesti ja värikylläisesti ja tämän kieli on jopa yllättävän sukkelaa. Runsaslukuisten ryyppäys- ja rundausanekdoottien joukkoon mahtuu mukavassa määrin myös kirjoittajan omia näkemyksiä maailmasta ja musiikkibisneksestä, ja vaikkei Lemmyn mielipiteisiin aina yhtyisikään, on tämän suorasukaisille toteamuksille vaikea olla höröttämättä. Ehdottomasti rock-elämäkertojen parhaimmistoa, jota uskaltaa suositella myös muille kuin hi ...more
hattie
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Arzu
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
James
Oct 13, 2015 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
Ashley
Mar 07, 2015 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!!!!!!
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
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Ross Cumming
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not really a fan of Lemmy or of his band Motörhead but I've always been intrigued by him and really wanted to find out more about him. I would have seen him play live with Hawkwind way back in the early seventies but couldn't have told you at the time who he was !
This is not a work of great literature but feels more like being down the pub chatting to Lemmy while he tells you his life story with lots of anecdotes and asides thrown in for good measure. His life from an early age appears chaot
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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
Justin Sylvia
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Andy
Aug 29, 2011 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
Dan
Jan 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Certain people seem born truly destined to take on a particular role in life. If you are lucky, you have the foresight to follow the path that this fate has picked for you. And if you are VERY lucky, your specific lot in life is one that brings you bliss.
That's Lemmy.
This man has spent over 40 years in the rock and roll business. I am not talking about the lap of luxury rock and roll "lifers" such as the Rolling Stones, whose idea of being a rock star includes million dollar homes in Tuscany th
...more
Xon
Jan 21, 2016 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
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.

description
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
Craig
Aug 06, 2008 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
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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.” 31 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.” 18 likes
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