If the spirit of Lemmy Kilmister, otherwise known as God if you believe the film Airheads, were to haunt a location, it would definitely be the Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California. Renamed Lemmy’s Lounge after his passing and adorned with a statue of the heavy metal legend, one can almost see Lemmy hunched over the video poker machine when one steps onto the first floor smoking patio of the legendary bar. Rainbow owner Mikael Maglieri even had the video poker machine brought to Lemmy’s apartment when he was too sick to leave shortly before his passing on 28 December 2015. Lemmy called the place home so much so that he picked up his mail there according to an account by Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl at Lemmy’s memorial. Walk up to the bar today and ask for a “Lemmy” and you will receive a Jack Daniel’s and Coke, heavy on the Jack. This is why the Rainbow was such a fitting location, really the only location for the Motörhead 40th anniversary of the 1979 releases Overkill and Bomber to take place.
For those who may be unaware, yes, Motörhead’s second and third albums were both released the same frenetic, drug fueled year. Not long after being asked to leave the band Hawkwind in 1975 for “doing the wrong drugs,” Lemmy formed Motörhead along with the “classic” lineup of drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, and guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke and by 1977 released their eponymous first album. In a fury of recording and playing live, Overkill was released in early 1979 and Bomber was released in late 1979. Overkill was Motörhead’s first album to break into the top 40 of the UK Albums chart with the title track and No Class as the singles. Motörhead even made an appearance on the UK’s Top of the Pops television show to promote the album. Only a couple months later, the band were working on Bomber, released on October 27, 1979. Bomber would reach number 12 on the UK Albums Chart.
On October 2 2019 at the Rainbow, a sea of press and Rainbow regulars like porn star Ron Jeremy eagerly awaited the unveiling of the “1979” box set reissuing these iconic albums. On display were the fully encased version in its black biker jacket box, as well as its contents laid out for people to look through. Those in attendance snacked on hors d’oeuvres and were able to peruse the box sets’ contents. This included the original Overkill and Bomber albums half-speed mastered and pressed on 180 gram vinyl created from the original master tapes; two double-live albums of previously unheard concert material from the ’79 tours; a 40-page, period-accurate “music magazine” featuring unseen photos and fresh interviews regarding the era; The Rest of ’79 vinyl, featuring B-sides, outtakes and rare tracks; No Class 7″ single with gatefold art; The Bomber tour program; the Overkill sheet music book and last but not least, a ’79 badge set. The box set was compiled with the full cooperation and involvement of the estates of (all now deceased) Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, “Fast” Eddie Clarke and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, who allowed producers to go through the band’s extensive private archives. Creation of the box set also included the assistance of people who were part of the Motörhead ’79 circle of friends, crew, and accomplices, as well as super fans. This is certainly a collectors item not to be missed.