Listen: a Raw 1988 Cassette Bootleg of Motörhead Live in St. John’s, NL

lemThe internet has brokenheartedly blown up this week since the news broke of Lemmy Kilmister’s passing at the age of 70. Best known as the bassist and frontman of the influential power trio Motörhead since 1975, Lemmy can also be found on every monumental tier in the history of rock n’ roll. From playing with The Rockin’ Vickers during the UK beat explosion of the early 1960’s, to working as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, and his stint as bassist for the cutting edge space rock band Hawkwind in the 1970’s; Lemmy’s life laid groundwork for metal, punk and psychedelic music. Though to him it was always just rock n’ roll.

Musical accolades aside, Lemmy’s lifestyle was one of legend. Adored by many as the last rebellious pariah of the rock n’ roll world, Lemmy never found God, sobriety, or a lavish rock star lifestyle; instead opting for whiskey, cigarettes and amphetamines to fuel a relentless road schedule of ear-bursting rock music which he continued to trudge through despite bouts of illness in 2015.

Should the lifestyle be celebrated or romanticized? Probably not, but the body of work, the lifelong legacy and the Godlike influence adorned by rock n’ roll puritans worldwide is absolutely undeniable.

The Bootleg Cassette, Photo by Rennie Squires

The Bootleg Cassette, Photo by Rennie Squires

Since Lemmy lived a lifestyle that was raw and gritty, we figured an appropriate Atlantic Canadian salute would be to share a lo-fi cassette bootleg that surfaced online a few years back featuring Motörhead’s first and only appearance in St. John’s, NL. It was 1988 and they opened for Alice Cooper at the Memorial Stadium. The show was one of legend, and I was once told as a kid from an old family friend who attended that “half the audience plugged their ears, while the other half picked their jaws up off the floor.”

The set was described as a “life changer” for a lot of people in the province who hadn’t quite seen anything like it before. Though the cassette recording is muffled, noisy and overblown, it was captured on a smuggled tape recorder from the front pocket of a denim jacket… How the fuck else would you want relive Motörhead in St. John’s?

The ten song bootleg is worth a listen even just for the crowd and stage banter. “It’s fucking cold up here!” Lemmy says to the St. John’s crowd in his initial salutations, seconds before the band jumps into their opening number, “Dr. Rock”. There are countless other gems picked up from crowd interactions throughout the uncut tape recording of the show.

Motörhead – Introduction / Dr. Rock – Live at the Memorial Stadium in St. John’s, NL.
February 3rd, 1988:

The recordings originate from a blog post a few years back from local collector, enthusiast and musician Rennie Squires. It was Squires’ jean jacket that hid the recording device on February 3rd, 1988, and it was digitized for his blog 25 years later.

You can download the set in its entirety from Rennie Squires blog here.

We’ve upped a couple more tracks hand-plucked from the bunch, and you can stream those here:

Motörhead – Eat The Rich – Live at the Memorial Stadium in St. John’s, NL.
February 3rd, 1988:

Motörhead – Ace of Spades – Live at the Memorial Stadium in St. John’s, NL.
February 3rd, 1988:

R.I.P Lemmy.

8 thoughts on “Listen: a Raw 1988 Cassette Bootleg of Motörhead Live in St. John’s, NL”

  1. Shawn Fulford says:

    I was there and a friend and I had won backstage passes from a lip sync contest at The Strand, so we met all of Alice Cooper’s bsnd, and Alicr of course, plis Motorhead, who, while I love Alice, I was mote excited to see. I still have the cassette sleeves they signed for me and the backstage pass is here somewhere, tucked in a 45 I think. Even had a pic with both bands all around a huge cake for Alice’s birthday. I never saw the pic and through the years asked various photographer’s who said they were2onmyhe tour. I bugged OZ FM about it as they had the contest, amd only this past year did Paul Kinsman send me a pic, and my friend and aren’t in it, we were to the left.. I still think a pic of all of us exists. It was pretty awesome meeting everyone, but especially Lemmy, RIP, and Philthy, RIP, who was in the band too.

  2. Ren Squires says:

    Hah. Cheers for re-posting/blogging.
    My ears rang for the full day in high school the next day.

  3. Joe brennan says:

    Great memory! Still one of the best concert sets I’ve EVER attended. Their stage presence was beyond anything I could have imagined. It was their RAW unbridled sound and energy that I always loved. Then when I went backstage to meet Alice Cooper ( who was the head liner that night ) and to have Lemmy come up behind me and ask me if he could see the cassette liner of Motörhead I was carrying. Well let’s say that to meet one of my idols like that was and is still like a dream. Still got that liner and his autograph that was personalized to me. R.I.P. Lemmy . You will be missed.

  4. Chris LeDrew says:

    Thanks so much Rennie for making this available. I was there as well….up front and probably 5 feet from you. Cheers!

  5. Jeff says:

    Man I was there screaming my head off ! Went to see Alice but came out of memorial stadium a motorhead fan for life ! A life changing event for me ! R.I.p Lemmy & Phil !

  6. Jaymz says:

    I was at this concert with a few of my buddies. Absolutely loved it and still listen to Motorhead. RIP Lemmy

  7. Pingback: Lemmy of Motörhead Recalls a Near-Death Experience in Newfoundland - Secret East
  8. Trackback: Lemmy of Motörhead Recalls a Near-Death Experience in Newfoundland - Secret East
  9. Darren Ryan says:

    Thanks for this, I never knew they played in NFLD
    Awesome Band
    RIP Lemmy

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