Nashville Pussy spent a lot of time on the road with Motorhead and formed a close bond with the band's iconic leader, Lemmy Kilmister. Upon his death in late 2016, Lemmy left a massive void in the world of heavy music. A larger than life character, everything about the man seemed mythical, but his peers can confirm the tales about him are more fact than fiction. Here, Nashville Pussy's Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys share some personal memories — "Lemmories" — about the undisputed rock god.

Hello, this is Blaine Cartwright and Ruyter Suys from Nashville Pussy! We've probably played over 100 gigs with Motorhead from 1998-2010 in several different countries. We might never have been a band if it wasn't for them.

Our "Lemmories" go back to way before Nashville Pussy, though. I [Ruyter] got turned on to Motorhead back in high school from my boyfriend, "The Motorhead Guy," as he was called, and Lemmy was his hero. After we'd split up he bequeathed to me his well worn Motorhead shirt. I was living in small-town Saskatoon, Saskatchewan when Blaine's band Nine Pound Hammer came and played. He and I were both wearing Motorhead shirts. This was in a time when a shirt really indicated who you were — I doubt there were two Motorhead shirts in that whole province. But we met because of those shirts and fell in love and the rest is gravy. Years later I had Lem sign that very shirt and I still have it.

Although Lemmy had a healthy, flirtatious relationship with our bass players, both Corey Parks and Karen Cuda, he immediately singled me [Blaine] out to be the guy to shoot the shit with. Lemmy always looked at me as though we were somewhat similar and he treated at me as a protege and peer, because we basically had the same job.

We've both been in denial about his death and it’s put a colossal hole in our lives. We can always put on a Motorhead CD — that’s cool, but we can’t call or text him and we’ll never see him again and that hurts.

So if these memories seem sentimental, that’s just the way we saw him. Thanks for this opportunity, it’s been very therapeutic!

Grab your copy of Nashville Pussy's new album, 'Pleased to Eat You,' here.

  • "Like Motorhead... With Tits!"

    Told by Ruyter Suys

    One of the very first national U.S. tours Nashville Pussy ever did was all self-booked and promoted so we made these photocopied black and white fliers with our photo and text that read, "Like Motorhead With Tits" written so people would get the idea of what we were. Word got around to Lem and he was asked what he thought about using that. He asked, "How many tits?" He was told Four and commented, "Not enough tits."

    Eamonn McCabe, Redferns/Getty Images
  • Lemmy Charms My Mom

    Told by Ruyter Suys

    We started touring with Motorhead, and I finally had the pleasure of introducing the man who cemented my place in the dark side to the people who birthed me.

    My parents came to the Vancouver show at the Commodore Ballroom and my mom (who is of the bra-burning generation) was ready to meet Lemmy and possibly tear him a new one. He shook her hand and they wound up in a corner chatting away for what seemed like quite a long time. When my mom came back she smiled and said, "That Lemmy is quite charming." I told her I'd been trying to tell her that since high school!!!

  • My Favorite Text From Lemmy

    Told by Blaine Cartwright

    I used to text Lemmy on a regular basis and he always got back to me really fast. Always.

    One night I was in Berlin getting super drunk at a club called Wild At Heart. I was celebrating just playing a great gig there with my other band, Nine Pound Hammer, partying and getting my ass kissed. The music the DJ was playing was amazing, rare old rock and soul. It was a perfect night.

    Around 3AM, I noticed that the music started getting bad fast. First Billy Idol and then Duran Duran. The last straw was when the new DJ blasted the Ghostbusters theme song. I was pissed off and wasted.

    I tried to get the DJ’s attention by flipping him off, but he just laughed at me. I wanted to hit him but he was far away. So I spit at him — right in the face. The club freaked out, so I ran out and stumbled to my hotel room getting some shitty Chinese food on the way. I texted Lemmy “Greetings from Berlin. I just got kicked out of a club for spitting on the DJ for playing the Ghostbusters theme.”

    He texted back in all capitals “GUTE NACHT, MEIN FRUEND!!!” Which is German for “Goodnight my friend." Which meant, "Go to bed, dumbass, before you do something even stupider." I complied. He was watching out for me.

  • "Please Delete That, Mate"

    Told by Blaine Cartwright

    Nashville Pussy were playing Stubbs in Austin, Texas with Motorhead. We were all hanging outside by these picnic tables in the backstage area and I was reading a copy of The Onion (the hilarious fake newspaper) I had picked up. Lemmy had never seen it before. That surprised me, because I knew he’d really like it. He thought it was great; he really enjoyed it.

    He was reading it on a bench sitting with Karen, our bass player, who he really liked, when I took my favorite picture of him ever. They were both laughing like high school kids. It was quite nice and innocent and very opposite of the usual over the top rock n’ roll shit storm comes with a Motorhead tour.

    I showed Lemmy and Karen the picture. Lemmy said “Please delete that, mate.” He had been wearing his reading glasses and didn’t want anyone to see him in them. Too bad. It was a great picture. He looked really happy and I’ll have it in my head forever.

    Mick Hutson, Getty Images
  • Before the Internet, Lemmy Knew Everything

    Told by Blaine Cartwright

    Lemmy was a walking encyclopedia of music knowledge. We had very similar tastes (we both worshipped Little Richard). But occasionally we would argue about music. One time Motorhead was sound checking with the song “Rosalie," a song made popular by Thin Lizzy but originally written and recorded by Bob Seger.

    When Motorhead got offstage, Ruyter and I said, “We didn’t know you liked Bob Seger.” He said, "Fuck Bob Seger!" Which we didn’t like hearing at all. “That’s a Bob Seger song, it’s from his album  Back in '72.” “It’s Thin Lizzy!” ...He was getting annoyed.

    This was in 1998. There was no Wikipedia or any convenient way to prove I was right. So we quietly gave in because we were making him mad. We were right though, you can Wikipedia it.

    Another time were discussing bands we thought were great and I mentioned Black Oak Arkansas. His reaction to that was to put his hands around my neck and pretend to strangle me.

  • "Play Till You Drop"

    Told by Blaine Cartwright

    I had just turned 42 and was going through an “anti-midlife crisis." Playing rock 'n' roll and staying high all the time all of a sudden seemed really shallow. I was wondering if I was on the right path or should I change anything. Part of me felt like I should be in the suburbs wearing a fluffy blue University of Kentucky sweater and working a regular job.

    As usual, I turned to my friend and mentor Lemmy for advice. I cornered him backstage in Los Angeles. He offered me some cocaine that someone had given him (he hated coke and only did speed) and I told him about what I was going through. As he dipped his legendary iron cross necklace into the white powder and held it to my nose, he looked me in the eye and said: “Play till you drop."

  • "Blaine's a Cunt"

    Told by Blaine Cartwright

    The last time I saw Lemmy was when the Mayhem Tour came to Atlanta. He told me to come to his dressing room after the show. I brought him a copy of Hail Jesus, a gospel record Ruyter and I had recorded recently as the band The Kentucky Bridgeburners and was looking to get a quote from him. I knew he always liked the music we made, but I also knew he hated religion.

    I handed him the CD and he looked at it and said “A gospel album? Hedging your bets, eh?” I asked him to listen to it and give me a quote. He said he could give me one without listening to it. “Blaine’s a cunt for recording a religious record.”

    Fin Costello, Redferns/Getty Images
  • Introducing Lemmy to David Cross

    Told by Blaine Cartwright

    This one I’m quite proud of.

    Lemmy was something of a constant comedian with an amazing English wit. One of my favorite moments was when he recited the entire classic Woody Allen “moose hunting” routine verbatim. It was quite impressive and really unexpected.

    He loved English humor like Spike Milligan, The Goon Show, and especially Monty Python. I told him my buddy was the American equivalent of Monty Python as our band had recently become friends with David Cross from Mr. Show.

    I got to introduce David and Lemmy to each other backstage at the Troubadour twenty years ago. Lemmy, being an English gentleman, kissed the hand of David’s then-girlfriend. David, who's not very easily impressed by anything, was trying to make Lemmy laugh and David’s usually a laid back dude. I never had seen him this “on” besides when he was actually on stage or on TV.

    I was the only in the room besides those three, so I was the only one who witnessed this. It’s my favorite Lemmy memory. Possibly my favorite David Cross memory also — you can’t beat that.

  • War - What Is it Good For?

    Told by Blaine Cartwright

    I always thought Lemmy would be a history professor if he hadn’t gone into music. He was a genius in that area and we talked a lot about history, especially ancient European history.

    I once asked him if was interested in American history. After pondering the relative youngness of my country he replied, “What history?” Another time we were discussing what it would be like to have fight in an ancient war hand to hand and how awful that would be. “Fuck fighting to the death” I said. “Fuck fighting till I get knocked down,” he added.

    UDR Music
  • "That's a Palindrome"

    Told by Ruyter Suys

    The very first time we ever played with Motorhead in Austin, Texas, I happened to wander backstage to see, in person, the man himself. There was Lem, all in black, backstage hiding from the Texas sun.

    He pointed to some graffiti where a local band had written their name 'SINIS.' He pointed at it and looked at me and said in that gravely voice, "That's a palindrome; it's the same thing forward as backwards." That has always stuck with me... Lem was always more than you thought he was.

  • The Last (Motorhead) Heroes

    Told by Ruyter Suys

    I had the honor of getting to hitch a ride on the Motorhead bus on their last European summer tour. Nashville Pussy had just finished our festival run and I wanted to bum around Europe for a while and they offered to take me along. This was the first time I've ever been on the road without having a gig or reason to be there other than the pleasure of each other's company.

    Lem was already ailing a little and was quite sequestered from the many well wishers and sycophants at these big festival. But at one Swiss festival I found just myself, Dave Grohl and Lemmy sitting backstage in complete silence, smoking cigarettes and listening with rapt attention to the latest unreleased Motorhead album.

    They hadn't decided on which covers would be released yet. We all just sat, smiling at each other, listening to one song after another, nodding our approval and amazement with yet another great Motorhead album. Tears ran down my cheek when "Heroes" came on. I couldn't believe they'd covered one of my favorite songs. David Bowie was still very much alive when they'd recorded it, so it was left off the album itself, but at that moment it was like Motorhead had recorded that song just for me. Lem was chuffed as always he lived to listen to Motorhead!