In early 2004 my best friend and I started a Motorhead tribute band in SE Virginia called Capricorn USA. Capricorn is one of my favorite songs and it’s one of Lemmy’s songs that he wrote about himself. Always loved it because it sounded a bit unlike standard Motorhead. The USA got added because there was already a band called Capricorn and even though we were just a tribute band, I didn’t want any issues to arise. The original lineup consisted of me, Danile (Dizzo), Fast Chris and Filthy Fowler. We practiced a lot and we were tight when we played live. It was a pretty well-oiled machine. I liked playing as a 4 piece because of the full sound we could get live, plus Danile and Chris could split up the solos. They were both differently styled players and even though they both played solos pretty close to the originals, you could hear the differences in their techniques. I loved it. Chris and Folwer lasted for about 9 months before some differences arose and we parted ways.
Right before their departure, we were asked to be a part of an upcoming tribute album being put out by Steve Wensil of the Dead Kings. None of the bands were allowed to cover Ace of Spades so we kicked around doing Mean Machine or Chase or Bomber. With those two guys out of the band, I decided that instead of getting a drummer for the recording, I’d just do it. I’m historically a drummer but hadn’t really played in years because of hand injuries, but I got in the studio and we knocked out Bomber and Chase with me doing everything except guitars, which Danile handled perfectly. Steve let us use both songs on the CD but we had to do them under two different names, Capricorn USA and Phlemmy & Dizzo, because he didn’t want other bands getting mad for not being allowed to do more than one song. I think we paid $100 per song to be on the album which was to get us several copies for our own use and to cover copyright and printing costs…although it never got properly printed because of copyright issues. Bummer.
Danile and I decided to continue on and we found a guy named Juan who quickly became El Guapo. He showed up to audition with a huge double bass kit that had all the shells filled with foam and triggers on the heads. Playing-wise, we knew he was our guy but I told him the triggers had to go. We’re playing Motorhead songs, everything has to be loud. He didn’t like the idea but I offered to buy the heads and tune the drums and when he came back to start jamming, he knew it was the right decision. We did some shows within the next year and always had a great response with both versions. We were even listed on Motorhead’s website as the only USA tribute band, which was pretty sweet.
Danile parted in early 2005 and that was it until I moved to Texas and reformed with band with Fast Doug Morrison, Jason McWurzel McMaster and Filthy AJ on drums. We played some fun shows between 2008 and 2011 with some varied lineups because of illnesses, other gigs popping up or whatever. Stuart “Batlord” Laurence from Agony Column and Ignitor sat in for a few shows on guitar when Doug was dealing with some health issues and Mike Soliz, singer of the mighty Militia, sat in on drums for a show. The Texas version was a little more loose as we really only rehearsed if we had a show coming up.
Because of being on the Motorhead page, I was contacted by the producer of the forthcoming Lemmy movie and was asked if we’d film the band doing Ace of Spades. They were going to piece together clips from tribute bands worldwide but ultimately none of the tribute band footage never made into the movie or the DVD release extras.
We basically disbanded in 2011 just because of time restraints and I was just a bit tired of doing it. On the night of Lem’s death, a bunch of friends gathered at a local bar and drank all of their Jack Daniels. Through the haze of the whiskey, another good friend, Jason K, said we should do a show at the bar on New Year’s Eve since they didn’t have a band. He convinced his drummer, Chris, to do it and we did one rehearsal and knocked out 6 songs to a great crowd.
That’s the story of the band so far and click here to download the tribute album.
First show of 2016 and wow, what a way to get started!
About a month ago I got a heads up that Juggarnaut would be doing a short reunion show in San Antonio and I made sure my calendar was cleared. I had met singer Harlan Glenn in 2012 and he mentioned to me about a year ago that some sort of reunion was in the works.
Weather was shitty on Saturday but I headed down to San Antonio to pick up Rodney, grab dinner then head to the show. The venue, Boozehounds, is more of a pool hall than a venue, but they do have a stage in the corner and they were set up in front of the headliners.
The lineup consisted of almost everyone from the first album: Harlan Glenn, Eddie Katilus and Scott Womack. I imagine Bobby Jarzombek is out on tour. The crowd was decent for a cold, rainy night right after a holiday and some of the San Antonio/classic Texas metal legends were on hand to witness like Art Villareal, Ron Jarzombek, Rodney Dunsmore and a few of the guys from Wicked Angel.
Juggernaut opened up with a snippet of House of the Rising Sun and then went into Impaler. The sound could have been a little better out front. The vocals weren’t coming through very well, but you could still hear them alright. The band was pretty solid but as Harlan noted, this was the first show in about 30 years. The followed up the rest of the set with Slow Death, Cut Throat and All Hallow’s Eve. Between songs, someone shouted out, “Where are the rats?” Apparently at one of their legendary shows back in the day, they tossed live rats out into the crowd. Harlan explained that his mom cried when she found out about it and promised to never do that again. She was in the crowd on Saturday. He said that there would be a full show in the spring of 2016, so here’s hoping!
December 28, 2015. That’s the day that Lemmy died.
Official Motorhead posted that he learned of an “aggressive cancer” on the 26th of December and passed on 2 days later. I’ve felt for well over a year of seeing him in photos and videos that he’d been suffering through it for quite some time. The weight loss and frailness reminded me of my gramps who had pancreatic cancer and that’s my guess as well. Not important, really. He’s left us.
I read somewhere yesterday that most people have a Lemmy story. I’m fortunate to have a handful of them, and all of them good. You never really heard unkind words about Lemmy, even from people who weren’t Motorhead fans.
To say we were friends or even mere acquaintances would be a pretty big stretch of the truth, but the last few times I saw him face to face, he did recognize me and always made the joke, “How many times have I told you that you should have picked a better album cover?” referring to the Another Perfect Day tattoo on my back. One of those times being at The Rainbow. I’ll hold on to that.
I’m glad I got to see them 9 times since 1992 and I’m pretty sure some hearing loss is because of a few of the shows.
There will never be another one like him, you can count on that.