I’d just watched my second full set of Angel City Motorhead playing, the band which consisted of Lemmy Kilmister, Philthy Phil Taylor and Michael Würzel Burton, the three deceased members of the long running heavy metal band. If you haven’t caught up with how or why this is possible I suggest you read back and get the full story, all the details are there.
Having delivered Lemmy the paper work he asked for and played a few hours of Warcraft I was about to settle in and watch Lem and the boys hit the stage for their nightly gig but when I walked in the bar there was a stranger sitting in the seats where I had watched the first gig. Now as a music journalist I don’t get awestruck by musicians and I don’t remember the last time I got nervous upon seeing someone but as I approached the person sitting in the seat all that happened and more.
I was so awestruck that I watched the entire show standing up at the bar. Just like each time I turned back to my glass on the bar I expected it to be refilled, each time I picked up my drink and turned my head back to the stage I expected to see the new comer gone. But it never happened, each time I turned around he was sitting, unmoving in the seats located in the middle of the room. That was until he got up and walked towards the door.
At that point I thought he was leaving and I cursed myself for not having the balls to approach him, but instead after leaving the room he must have used a back entrance to the stage and was suddenly up with Lemmy and the boys. Any doubts I had about his identity were completely removed when I saw the leather clad guitarist pick up his signature Polka dot V guitar and strum the first few notes of “Over The Mountain.” I have to say it was interesting to hear Lemmy sing the lyrics to the Ozzy Osbourne classic and as long time friends before he died I couldn’t help but wonder if Lemmy and Ozzy might have sung the song together before.
Anyway I’m getting behind myself again as I explain things that have happened. When I last left you Lemmy, Würzel and Philthy had left the stage after the final song and had walked up behind me and were about to introduce me to the new visitor to Angel City.
“Hey Phil, I’d like you to meet a mate of mine.” I heard Lemmy’s gravelly voice say before I turned.
It was interesting to hear how little difference two hours on stage made Lemmy’s already gravelly voice, I know if it was mine after that long singing I wouldn’t sound the same.
When I turned around I found myself standing less than a metre away from a guy whose guitar playing has influenced millions, despite his short career, less than ten years, ending on the day he died in March 1982. I was standing in front of Randy Rhoads, the talented young guitarist who Ozzy Osbourne discovered in the band Quiet Riot after he himself left Black Sabbath and started his solo career.
Despite only releasing two albums with Quiet Riot and two albums with Ozzy Randy’s guitar playing and style is still emulated more than thirty five years after his death. Some who know the story would ask how it is possible that a guy who was killed in a plane crash and could only be identified by medical records could be standing before me thirty five years after the accident that took his life but honestly I neither cared or wanted to know, I was standing in front a guitar god and he had his hand out offering to shake mine.
“Oi Phil, shake the man’s hand and stop acting like a teenage groupie!” Lemmy said through laughter.
“Huh? Fuck! Sorry man!” I said as I reached out and took Randy’s hand. “I don’t know what came over me. Honestly I don’t do that usually. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t sweat it man.” Randy said to me. “You’re not as bad as the dumb prick Lem brought back a few months ago. Sheesh that guy couldn’t even speak to us without stuttering, he was so star struck.”
“Yeah you wont get that from Phil here,” Lemmy started as he reached forward to the bar and picked up his drink. “He a music journo, he’s used to stars.”
Everyone, including me laughed.
“Honestly, he’s right. I don’t do that.” I replied.
“He’s right, on the day I met him he was so forward he came up to me at the bar and made me pay for his drinks!” Lemmy stated. It wasn’t quiet the way I remembered it but I wasn’t going to argue.
After that we settled in for a chat and a few drinks like we were best of mates, the conversations just flowed, well lubricated by Jack Daniels and coke but they flowed. Würzel and Philthy left us about thirty minutes after the introductions had been made, I don’t now where they disappeared to but like most things in Angel City I was getting used to not asking.
When Lemmy finally excused himself from the bar at 2am I wondered what Randy was going to do. The guy wasn’t a heavy drinker when he was alive and that hadn’t changed in Angel City. He sat on a single bottle of Anisette for the entire time we were talking. I was kind of hoping he wasn’t going to leave the bar but at the same time I was extremely tired after my long drive and late night in the bar the previous night, if only that band had been as good as what I’d witnessed in Angel City.
“So you’ve met Oz have you?” Randy asked me as I wondered what he was doing.
The question had obviously come about because as a part of our chat before Lemmy left I happened to mention that I thought Ozzy would like his performance of Over The Mountain.
“Yeah I’ve interviewed him a few times. My boss is a complete dick sometimes and he can’t understand why Ozzy is as popular as he is but we sell more physical copies of the magazines with him on the cover than anyone else. So when the chance for an interview comes up the guy can’t knock it back.”
“How’s the guy doing without me? Have you met Sharon too?”
Having only meet Ozzy a few times and Sharon once I couldn’t give Randy and in depth story of the Osbourne’s and I’m sure Lemmy could tell him a lot more than I could but it opened up the doors for conversation and we stood at the bar chatting for nearly an hour.
When he finally bid me farewell I really wanted to ask him if I’d see him again and especially see him take the stage, but even I was learning that there are some things in Angel City that one just doesn’t ask. I waited until Randy left the room, downed the last of my drink and then headed out myself.
Finding my way to the bedrooms wasn’t an issue, I exited the bar and walked back to the main foyer. However heading up the stair case on the right I found myself hoping I didn’t do something silly like walk into an already occupied bedroom, but I kind of figured that the mansion wouldn’t let that happen.
Previous Angel City story here.