DON'T BE FOOLED by the combat boots, or the gruff demeanor, or the decades of playing hard-charging, heavier-than-heavy metal. As the solid new documentary Lemmy proves, the legendary frontman for thrash progenitors Motörhead is really just a quiet old man. When he's not touring or recording, Lemmy Kilmister pokes around the Sunset Strip, playing video slots at his favorite bar, the Rainbow—and amassing a huge collection of World War I and II memorabilia.
Actually, that's one of the most fascinating things we see in Lemmy: The cramped, $900 LA apartment where Kilmister has lived for years is packed to the brim with a museum's worth of gear. Nearly everything he wears is bedecked with an Iron Cross, and there's even a wall of swastikas in the tiny apartment. When filmmakers Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski ask how he responds to accusations of being a Nazi, Kilmister replies, "Well, I've had six black girlfriends so far, so I'm one of the worst Nazis you've ever met, right? I've often said if the Israeli Army had the best uniforms, I'd collect them, but they don't, you know?"
That unapologetic response is typical of Kilmister, and Lemmy primarily focuses on his current day-to-day activities rather than his musical past. Talking about his time with '70s space-rockers Hawkwind, Kilmister still sounds a little bitter about being kicked out of that band following a drug bust, but otherwise professes no regrets about a life that's left him diabetic and single in his mid-60s. Having attained the status of a living legend, he still tours six months out of the year and lives on a diet of Jack Daniel's, Marlboro Reds, and french fries. While he's never had to let go of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, Lemmy also shows the flipside—a solitary, aging man who never quite fit in.