September 19, 2021

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Motorhead: Dutch Church Bells Ring Out ‘Ace of Spades’

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In a pivotal scene in Airheads, the 1994 Brendan Fraser comedy about a hapless heavy-metallic band holding a radio station hostage, a history-label square attempts to quell the takeover by providing the band a file deal.

“You men are the most popular factor since Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch,” the A&R person tells them. “Marky Mark? That man sucks,” gives up Fraser’s bandmate, Steve Buscemi. So Fraser comes up with the fantastic issue to figure out whether or not the A&R male is legit: “Who’d gain in a wrestling match, Lemmy or God?” “Lemmy,” the go well with claims, prompting Buscemi’s derision. Then he tries “God.”

“Wrong, dickhead,” Buscemi tells him. “Trick problem: Lemmy is God.” They all laugh at him and kick him out. (The Motörhead frontman, who was omnipresent as God all-around 1994, even tends to make a cameo a few minutes later on in the movie.)

Now one more act of irrefutable celestial grace has supplied additional evidence that the late Lemmy Kilmister, he of the blessed warts and the snaggletooth, is without a doubt a deity worthy of worship. Past thirty day period, church bells in Weert, Holland, rang out the entire of Motörhead’s legendary “Ace of Spades.”

At 3 p.m. on the afternoon of July 17th, a crowd of perplexed grannies stared up at a belltower in the town center to hear guitarist Jitse Zonneveld and organist Frank Steijns bash out a raucous, chiming rendition of the track. It’s cacophonous, a very little out of tune, and wholly holy as Steijn uses his fists to come across all of Kilmister’s anti-melodies on his keyboard (truly a “carillon,” for those versed in ecclesiastical instrumentation).

The best part, of course, is the breakdown when Kilmister would ordinarily sing, “You know I’m born to eliminate and gambling’s for fools/but that is the way I like it, newborn, I never wanna stay for good,” mainly because Steijn plays it in a janky diatonic harmony. The truth that there are improbably drums in the recording on YouTube is an additional case in point of divine provenance. When they end, the collected café dwellers and visitors in Weert for the yearly Torenfestival applaud and holler gleeful hallelujahs in the tongues of Motörhead.

A few months ahead of his death in 2015, Kilmister — ahem, God — reflected on “Ace of Spades” with Rolling Stone. “When we do it onstage, absolutely everyone loves it,” he mentioned “But when we wrote it, we ended up just undertaking an album. It is just fucking a further track. I considered it was rather great, but I did not assume it was that good. … I was surprised when the song took off. It is no improved than all the others.” Thus spake the Holy Lem.

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