Lemmy Kilmister started writing the outlaw country song “The Mask” in 1979 — the same year he put out the screaming, hard-rock albums Overkill and Bomber with his band Motörhead — but didn’t finish it until three decades later. Now, a decade after that – and a couple of years after his death – the song is finally seeing the light of day.
Kilmister completed the song in 2009 with country singer Lynda Kay, who plays herself on the Amazon Prime series Goliath. The recording was thought to be lost but was recently rediscovered. It features Kilmister singing in a way that shows off his full voice, as opposed to the gruff grunts of Motörhead, and it is now the lead single off Kay’s upcoming album Black & Gold. A rare heart-on-sleeve love song by Kilmister, the lyrics concern a couple whose “love was doomed.” The LP is due out tomorrow, August 23rd.
In other Motörhead news, the music that Kilmister actually did put out in 1979 will be getting a reappraisal in a new box set, titled 1979, that collects the Overkill and Bomber albums along with live performances and outtakes. The collection is due out October 25th.
Shortly after Kilmister’s 2015 death, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich paid tribute to him in an interview with Rolling Stone. “Lemmy was like a godfather, a parental figure,” he said. “He was someone you felt completely safe with. You were never judged. You were never intellectualized. You were never questioned. You were always just welcomed in to whatever level that they were capable of. … It made you feel like you were a part of something that was so much bigger than you, and it was such a safe and invigorating place for kids like myself, because it gave us a purpose.”