If imitation is the sincerest type of flattery, it is safe to say Metallica flattered the hell out of Lemmy for his 50th birthday.
The Motörhead frontman turned 50 on Dec. 24, 1995, and in anticipation of that milestone, a celebratory bash was held 10 days earlier on the Whisky a Go Go — a fixture on the West Hollywood landscape that stands a stone’s throw from his favourite haunt, the Rainbow Bar & Grill. Booked to perform, the members of Metallica decided to put collectively a set featuring a few of their favourite Motörhead cuts — with a special visual twist.Download Our App
As you are able to see within the footage above — shot in-house by the Whisky and uploaded to YouTube years later — the group took the stage as “the Lemmys” on Dec. 14, cranking out a seven-track set whereas wearing Lemmy wigs and decked out in appropriate attire. Leading off with “Overkill,” they continued with “Damage Case,” “Stone Dead Forever,” “Too Late, Too Late,” “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch” and “We Are the Road Crew” earlier than ending with an encore performance of “Overkill.”
Lemmy was flattered — however not too much, grumbling to MTV that “there have been far too many individuals there” and poking fun at the Lemmys’ look. “All of them dressed up as me, and I thought that was nice. It was a lovely little bit of respect, that was. I knew they were coming to the party, however I didn’t know they were going to come back dressed up like that,” he told the community. “All of them had long black wigs on and penciled-in mustaches, and a tattoo drawn on one arm, with a black marker. Apart from, they got their tattoos on the wrong arm too, each one in every of them.”
For the members of Metallica, the show offered a charmingly goofy method of paying tribute to their hero — and though most followers of either act were not in attendance at the party, the group supplied up a facsimile of types with their 1996 single “Hero of the Day,” tacking on rehearsal recordings of “Overkill,” “Damage Case,” “Stone Dead Forever” and “Too Late, Too Late” to the limited-edition CD version. These songs later surfaced once more on 1998’s Garage, Inc. compilation.
Watch: The Lemmys live at the Whisky a go go for Lemmy’s 50th b-day party 1995: