Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Song of the Day: Motörhead and Girlschool, "Please Don't Touch"

Lemmy's endorsement of President Barack Obama and women's right to choose last week confirmed his status at one of metal's most outspoken feminists. In a genre often deemed sexist by folks who don't listen to it, Lemmy has always been an exemplary metalhead, defying standards both artistically and socially.

In 1979, Lemmy invited a little-known band from Wandsworth on tour with him. As he remembers, in his autobiography:

"I listened to a single called 'Take It All Away' that they'd put out on some little label and thought they were fucking excellent. Plus I liked the idea of girls being in a band--I wanted to stick it up these pompous bastard guitarists' asses, because Girlschool's guitarist, Kelly Johnson, was as good as any guitarist I've ever seen in my life. The nights when she was really on, she was as good as Jeff Beck. So I went down to see them at a rehearsal they were having. I thought they were great, and I went back and told the others, 'They're coming on tour.' The boys were a bit weird about it at first, but after the first night they played with us, they shut up."

I won't give away the ending, but the best-remembered relic from Motörhead and Girlschool's team-up is deservedly the St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP, with the two bands covering each others' songs and collaborating on Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' "Please Don't Touch." Not only does the remake crush the original, it gets my vote for the best psychobilly song of all-time.

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