The first single I ever bought was Paranoid by Black Sabbath. Fittingly, it was opposite The Barton’s Arms – which was Black Sabbath’s stomping ground as young boozers. I didn’t buy it when it came out as that would make me an extremely old bastard, but it was three or four years later. My dad already had the albums, and he schooled me in certain matters of rockness, so I bought it with my pocket money. He was very into the particular generation that was Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and others that came before – Be-Bop Deluxe! Then I picked up the baton and ran with it from there.
I have a feeling that the first album I bought with my own money was Motörhead by Motörhead. Motörhead are my favourite band of all time, really. There’s lots of bands I love but they were the catalyst for searching out heavier stuff. In my opinion they were the first extreme band because they were playing certain tempos that other bands just weren’t and they always sounded like they were about to come off the rails. I loved that. I don’t like my music metronomic, I find it a bit tedious.
The opening song Motörhead had a primal power. It was fast, like it was about to come off the rails. It had a real ‘fuck it’ mentality. And it became a huge influence on punk bands like Discharge and metal bands like Venom and Metallica.
Years ago, we were supporting Motörhead on some dates in Germany and just getting on a support tour was surreal. One night after one of the gigs in East Germany Lemmy wanted to go to a bar with me, Shane [Embury] our bass player and Mitch [Harris] our guitarist. We got in this taxi and the driver was playing some absolute bollocks on the stereo and Lemmy pulled a cassette out of his top pocket and told the taxi driver to put it on… then Little Richard started blaring out of the speakers! It was surreal.