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1st September 2017

At the 'Bad Magic' sessions, March 2015

Today sees the release of 'Under Cover', an album of cover versions by Motörhead, most of which have been previously released, but one track is already gaining a legendary status of it's own and our good friend Joe Colover of LA based rock'n'roll band Others has a unique and remarkable relationship with the song and with Motörhead themselves.

Motörhead's cover of David Bowie's 'Heroes' was premiered at Wacken Open Air on 5th August and declared as "Wacken Hymn 2018" by Wacken mainman Thomas Jensen who told the crowd that Lemmy wanted the song included on what was to become Motörhead's final studio album, 'Bad Magic'.

Joe was in the studio with Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey during the 'Bad Magic' recording sessions in the Spring of 2015 and was one of the very first people to ever hear material from 'Bad Magic' and one of the very first to learn about the cover of 'Heroes'.

Joe takes up the story himself.


It was March 31st 2015 and I was honoured to be invited to Grandmaster Studios in Hollywood, where the finishing touches were being made to Motörhead's final record, 'Bad Magic'. It's one of my favourite records by the band; the song 'Until The End' gives me those musical chills we all long to experience. Anyway, I get buzzed into the studio not knowing what the hell to expect. I'd been told to be there around 2.00pm, so I arrived at 1.00pm.

I enter through the back of the studio, where I see sections of Micky Dee's drum kit stacked up, guitar and amp cases stamped with 'PHIL CAMPBELL' in white spray paint, and a large guitar rack loaded with about five of Lemmy's mighty Rickenbacker bass guitars. As I walk through to the studio reception I felt bug-eyed like a kid at a museum, fascinated by everything around me.

Once in the lobby, I say "Hi" to Todd Singerman and Alex Adamson from Motörhead's, and my management, producer Cameron Webb and Dixon, Lemmy's assistant. They all greeted me and got back to talking business, and being restless by nature, I went for a wander. I'd had no idea any of the band would be there, and just like that, I run into Lemmy.

We shake hands. At this point, Lemmy had come to see me perform with Others at the Whisky A Go-Go. Though we'd also met a couple of times before that at the Rainbow Bar And Grill of course. The first time was back in October 2012 on a very interesting Sunday with Sebastian Bach but that's a different story altogether. Every time I saw him I re-introduced myself, thinking no way would he remember me, only for Lemmy to reply each time: "Yes... I do know who you are!"

Lemmy and Cameron went back to work, and shortly after, they got all of us in by the sound board to have a listen to some of the tracks for 'Bad Magic', which were still un-mixed and un-mastered at that point. There were brief discussions after we'd listened to each track. I just stood there grinning, tapping my foot and repeating "it's greaT... really great". Like I said, I was not expecting that morning that by lunchtime I'd be sitting in a recording studio alongside Lemmy, checking out never before heard Motörhead songs!

Turn the bass up!

Next up was Motörhead’s cover of The Rolling Stones song 'Sympathy For The Devil', which I fucking love, and it was a very nice surprise. After listening to the new tracks, there's this talk about 'Heroes'. I'm there thinking: "What... David Bowie's 'Heroes'? No way! Motörhead covering a David Bowie song! 'Heroes' is one of my favourite Bowie songs. This I have to fucking hear."

But it didn't happen. It hadn't been recorded yet, or mixed, or something – I can't remember exactly But it just didn't happen then and I had to keep my mouth shut about it, in case it never saw the light of day.

So I said goodbye to Lemmy and thanked him and everyone for inviting me to sit in. I started to make my way to the exit, but not before getting a quick photo of me holding one of Lemmy's Rickenbacker bass's. It was certainly one of the coolest days of my life.

Later that year 'Bad Magic' was released, and sure enough, 'Heroes' was not on the record. I figured it just didn't happen, or perhaps I'd been hearing things back in the studio. It was a shame, but I still thought the record was great.

After my day in the studio, it was back to reality for me, which meant sleepless nights, band rehearsals and a lot of Curb Your Enthusiasm. In the Fall, I was asked with my bandmates, John Hatfield, Jessie Sanchez and Patrick Martin, to play on the loudest boat in the world... MOTÖRHEAD’S MOTÖRBOAT, which sailed from Miami to the Bahamas and back. We didn't know it, but this would also turn out to be the last time we'd see Motörhead play.

Others live at The Whisky...

Later that year, on 13th December 2015, Others would open Lemmy's 70th Birthday Party, again at the Whisky A Go-Go, which also included rock giants Slash, Duff, Steve Jones, Billy Idol, Sebastian Bach and many more who performed at the celebration. Just a few days later I was up in the air and heading back to jolly old England, in time to see family and friends for Christmas.

As we all know, Lemmy passed away just a few days later, splintering the hearts of not just rock'n'roll fans and Metalheads, but lovers of music and free expression everywhere.

Bizarrely, having been in the company of the great man a couple of weeks earlier, I watched Lemmy's funeral online from in a bar in the UK. British fans made sure Lemmy's life was celebrated and his passing mourned back in his home country. One of music's true heroes had left us, we were all hurting and it didn't take long for more to follow.

2016 was like a fucking shift in the universe, like mother nature had decided to flip the bird at all of us. Political events surpassed being questionable and became increasingly strange and eventually all out ridiculous, and we had artists, actors and athletes passing in what felt like every other week. It was as if they'd decided to check out of an increasingly crazy world.

Among them was David Bowie, two days after his 69th birthday and a fortnight after Lemmy. This again had me thinking about the 'Heroes' cover that I thought just never happened. How poetic would that have been? Would that not have been the perfect tribute to both of them and to the other greats who followed? Prince, Muhammad Ali, Leonard Cohen, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder all passed in 2016 and the list goes on and on.

Somewhere over the Rainbow...

Now let's fast forward, because Joe is starting to ramble. To my absolute thrill and delight, a few weeks ago came the news of 'Under Cover' – a collaboration of covers by Motörhead, and featuring the never before released David Bowie cover, 'Heroes'. As I read the news I felt like Dr fucking Frankenstein. "It's alive... It's alive!" Yes! They did make it, and eager ears were waiting to hear it.

This year’s Wacken festival in Hamburg, Germany was a special one for me. It was my fifth time going as a spectator – next year we're on the roster to play – and ten years since the first time I went there as a crazy headbanging 16-year-old kid. Not a lot changes, right!

I felt especially at home at the mini Rainbow Bar And Grill in the beer garden which they named 'Lemmy's Bar'. As 'the Bow' is my main hang out spot when in LA, I found myself slipping through the crowds to have a quick Jack'n'Coke (a Lemmy) between checking out the bands I wanted to see.

After a loud and muddy few days came the Saturday, the final day of Wacken 2017. I was watching Alice Cooper performing on the Harder Stage along with the 80,000 plus Metal fans in attendance. With bass player Chuck Garric taking the lead, they finished their set off with 'Ace Of Spades', with both Chuck and Alice doing a killer job on the vocals for the classic track.

As they finished and exited the stage the crowd decided it was a good time to head off to get a beer but Thomas Jensen, the founder of Wacken, came onto the stage and made sure everyone stayed put.

Thomas Jensen

"There can't be a Wacken without Lemmy... we all know that. So we have the honour to present to you the 2018 Wacken Hymn, which will be Motörhead's epic take on David Bowie's 'Heroes'. So let me tell you... Lemmy wanted this song. During the recording of 'Bad Magic', the latest album... he wanted this song to be on the album. And let's make it that he can hear us when we are all singing it."

The crowd roared and the cinema-sized screens next to the stages lit up. The monitors were turned up to eleven and I stood there taking it all in, with the same grin plastered on my face as the one I'd had back in the studio when hearing the new Motörhead tracks with Lemmy.

It had begun. I had waited a little over two years to hear this track and I was glad to be hearing it for the first time here at Wacken, where it was supposed to be played. I was glad because it was the perfect time and place.


The energy and emotion was indescribable. People were tearing up just like at Lemmy's tribute at Wacken the year before where Phil and Micky spoke about the General we all miss. When they talk about the power of music and art and how it can bring people truly together and open their eyes and actually make them feel for themselves, and for good... this was one of those moments.

For me personally, this song hit me in many ways but mainly because it took me back in time. It took me back to the last time I would see Lemmy, sitting by his games machine on the patio of The Rainbow, having a drink with a swarm of people around him, not long before his birthday celebrations kicked off at the Whisky A Go-Go, at which I was honoured to perform.

It took me back to the last time I saw Motörhead – and I can assure you, there were a lot of times – aboard Motörhead's Motorboat after Others had finished playing our set.

It took me back to that incredible day in the studio hearing the new tracks, and to the times I was lucky enough to share a drink and a cheers with Lemmy.

And for a dear moment, it took me back to Hyde Park, London on June 17th 2006, where as a fresh fifteen-year-old I would see Motörhead for the first time. I had no idea on that day what lay in store for me, and I'll never forget it, because at a time when one questions everything... one doesn't just look for answers, one looks for Heroes.


Musician/writer Joe Colover is the vocalist for LA based rock'n'roll band Others who look forward to upcoming tour dates in the US and Europe in 2018 following their debut record. Be sure to check them out on their official website and Facebook.

Joe is currently living in Berlin working on new material for his projects.


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