Motörhead Guitarist Phil Campbell: “It Was Unbelievable on Stage”

Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell: "It was unbelievable on stage"

Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell recently spoke about some of the band’s live performances and mentioned how his hearing was affected after the shows (as he refused to wear earbuds). Campbell also touched on the post-show fatigue they had experienced. The guitarist also recalled the specific request Lemmy Kilmister gave him when Campbell first joined Motörhead back in 1984.  In addition to Campbell’s recent quotes, you can also check out Mikkey Dee’s memories with Lemmy Kilmister. The Motörhead drummer reflected on his feelings when Kilmister asked him to join Motörhead. Anyway, here’s what Phil Campbell had to say in his appearance on Rockin’ Metal Revival, transcribed by the fine folks at Ultimate-Guitar:

Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell on the live show experience

When asked about how he felt during the concert, Phil Campbell recalled his fond memories:

“It was unbelievable on stage. So much energy with the three or four of us up there for a start, and you can feel it all. You knew when we came off stage, you knew something seriously special  had gone on. You could count all of the bad gigs we did on one hand, seriously, in all those years. When we came off stage, totally drained for two or three hours sometimes, but it’s all well worth it. We have some great feedback from people attending our shows.”

He also mentioned the deafness after the shows as the band did not bother with protective equipment:

“And being deaf, slept in a dumpster, try to get some peace and quiet after the gig – it was well worth it. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

Phil Campbell: “I had to invest in a high-end hearing aid”

When asked about the lack of hearing aids Campbell said:

“Yeah, we didn’t bother with that. I think I tried those ear things for about half a tour, I wasn’t getting the electricity to vibe through, so I quickly discarded them. But now we got off the road, I had to invest in a high-end hearing aid, but the thing is – I never wear it. But I went to the audiologist – this is a true story of two years ago – so basically he does all these tests, and he said, ‘Well, a regular kind of average person’s hearing would be on this certain chart.’ I don’t know what it was, plus 20 – and mine was minus 70. So, whatever, make what you will of that. It was profound hearing loss.” “I guess the thing is not to stand in front of the stage, especially those festivals, you got all those subwoofers, they lift you off the ground, they lift you up.”

Phil Campbell on Lemmy Kilmister’s request

“Was there one particular thing that Lemmy once said to you or something that he said on a regular basis that will always stick with you?” the interviewer asked. Phil Campbell had the perfect answer:

“When I first joined the band [in 1984], he said, ‘Phil, I value your playing, play what you like musically, but just don’t wear shorts on stage.’ I think Brian Robertson had worn shorts on stage before a few times, and they didn’t go over the image that Lem was trying to put out there, you know?” Bullet belt and pink shorts don’t quite match, and I never did wear shorts on stage, I thought that’s a good deal for me, man. I’ll play all the bad notes I want as long as I got trousers on.”

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