Alan, how do you feel, I mean after releasing the new book about Lemmy and even he passed away, forever! Hard time for the fans; & I would like to know, how many days, weeks do you spend to write this kind of “Collateral Damage” in general and what was the main reason to put all the “Lemmy”-Projects-Stuff in one book?
Have been writing about Motörhead for over half my life, the fan club fanzine to start with, we are now on issue 105 after 36 years, and my first Motorhead book was in 1981. This book was due for release now, anyway, regardless of Lemm's passing, I have no scruples about 'cashing in' as I am the only person in the world who cannot be guilty of that, as Motorhead in print has been my life's work. - - Last time I saw Lemmy was November 2011 at their Bournemouth International Centre gig. This meeting is spoken of in the book, as he played tracks from his solo album to see what my opinion was. Have multiple sclerosis, which has become worse since then, so we didn't meet again, but we emailed when necessary. we both knew where the other was in an emergency, I was never one to be a pain in the ass to him, always showed my respect for his time and friendship. The 'Lemmy Projects' as you call them began with Robert Calvert's 'Captain Lockheed' album, so I have just followed along since then. The rest Lem left for fans to find, he told me about the Albert Jarvinen track in 1984, and I complimented him on his vocals on the Dacia and the WMD track. When I thought well, there are so many it would make a good book was 6 to 8 years ago, so I've been fiddling with it since then. I asked Lem some questions about stuff which puzzled me, but in general he would be thinking about what was going on today rather than the past.
How difficult was it to find the “right” stuff & right people to talk about the past for “Life Beyond Motörhead” & how much participation infected by Lemmy inside of it?
At 65 I have watched and studied the evolution of rock music, and something of a historian I take pride in the music of my era. Don't ask me about modern pop, rock or metal, as I haven't much of a clue. Lemmy always read the manuscripts of every book of mine, without exception. He was always very keen on my writing Motorhead's almost day to day history in the fanzine. I'm something of a detail, date, fact freak, so it has worked well.
Had Lemmy the opportunity to see the book - finished? You get the handwritten foreword of him; it´s maybe the most important thing for the fans in your book, isn´t it?!
Lemmy didn't see the finished book, but he knew he always got my best in it. The handwritten foreword was a big thing for everyone. Other than a few autographs at places he attended after the Berlin show, that was about the last thing he wrote, and the most personal to me. Have to thank publicist, Ute Kromrey, for urging Lem to write it when he felt so ill.
How many reviews and reactions do you get about the new book - and do you care in general about reactions of fans or the press?
I have written fiction in the past, too, it's all on Amazon, and after that, I tend not to read reviews. These so-called keyboard warriors who are in fact gutless wimps face-to-face, but big shots typing soul destroying messages to creative people piss me off. It's like you guys reviewing albums, you can slag them off, but can you play guitar, or bass, or drums well enough to do as well or better? I don't know? But if someone can write better than I do, (and I know I'm not the best), then stop criticising and write your own. The book or album has been produced and is in the shops to buy, I don't think some critic is going to effect sales, if the punter likes it then they will buy it.
Do you have any plans to release this book in other languages; maybe in German, French, etc.?
Production of the book in other languages is down to the publisher. If they are approached then why not? Again, in parallel to the music business, records get licensed to and pressed in different countries, so it's a great thing, and for me, something of an honour to be lucky enough to have translations.
What´s next in your career as Motörhead-biographer!?
What's next in my career? Well, I have been fortunate enough to have spent over half my lifetime writing about the band and the characters in it whom I have loved. What more can a rock fan ask? Although I got into doing it by accident rather than design, I couldn't have done it for any other band. My impetus was there and still is, even though the MS is crippling me and slowing me down, I'm not quite done yet. One more book to go, and I'm not saying any more than that!