Friday, October 24, 2008

The Last Song Syndrome 2: Ace Of Spades (Motorhead), On Perpetual LSS

"You know I'm born to lose
and gambling is for fools,
But that's the way I like it baby,
I don't want to live forever,
and don't forget the joker!"

- Motorhead, "Ace Of Spades"

Ace Of Spades, arguably Motorhead's signature song, is one of those tunes that would figure repetitively in my life's confused soundtrack.

When I was a lot younger and wet behind the ears, I could not - pity my sparse exposure and knowledge - tell the difference between punk and metal music. They all sounded the same to me: furious guitars, furious tempo, furious vocals. Not wanting to risk ridicule from friends listening to these types of music, I embarked on an arduous self-study, getting hold of music magazines, fanzines, cassette tapes purchased from the bowels of Recto, or fringes of Kamias ...

... and during my research, I chanced upon a video on television. You see, during program lulls, RPN-9 would show pre-MTV videos of artists the likes of Billy Joel, Blondie, and Queen. It was a hot summer afternoon, and on the TV was Motorhead.

Motorhead. Didn't I read somewhere that the late Dee Dee Ramone counted Motorhead, and the Ramones of course, as the only two bands that are " any good"? Dee Dee must have meant it in earnest, for here was a band that was tearing my eardrums to smithereens. A man named Lemmy was spitting word after word as he grimaced on the mic, his bass guitar pounding ominously in the process. The guitar was blaring, creating a sense of alarm throughout the song. I was practically blown away.

Fantastic song, kick-ass band. I never forgot the video.


Many years later, I listened to a good deal of Motorhead songs, but Ace Of Spades will always be one of my most enduring LSS.

Recently, it has been playing in my mind over and over, once more.

One early evening, I came home from work. As I was getting off my car, I heard someone talk.

"You have been busy lately."

I turned and saw a fiftyish graying but hefty gentleman walking his tiny terrier. He was smiling as he spoke, lighting up his dark eyes and lifting the corners of his moustache in the process.

"Yes," I acknowledged. "Workload is getting heavier."

He nodded, and we both muttered "Good evening" as I walked towards the building where I live.

But I had to walk fast, because I was afraid that the gentleman - my neighbour - might see that an impish grin was starting to spread on my face. I tried not to think about it, but it could not be helped.

The crazy thought?

My neighbour, it seems, once armed with a mic and a bass guitar, bears a striking resemblance to Lemmy of Motorhead.

(Dear Sir, if ever you come across this piece, please forgive me. Take comfort though in the fact that you resemble a great musician.)

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