From M.I.A. vs Lynn Hirchberg, to Lou Reed vs pretty much everyone, the relationship between music writers and the musicians they chronicle can at times get contentious, but no matter how provocative and Lester Bangs-esque a rock journo wants to be, you just don’t mess with Motörhead.
This was the lesson that Dirk Benninghoff, a writer for Metal Hammer Germany, learned the hard way, after he wrote a scathing review of the hard rock veterans’ recent performance at Coachella, which was seemingly lauded by everyone else, including the “75,000 fans” in attendance.
“When it comes to reviews, we would be the first to agree with a writer if we had a bad show,” the band admit in a recent Facebook post. “But, when we have a GREAT SHOW in front of a SOLD OUT Coachella audience and EVERY Fan Review, Musician Review and Press Review… RAVED about our show, why would ONE writer think the opposite of 75,000 fans, artists and writers?”
While this may come off as uncharacteristically defensive, the review in question not only accused the band of orchestrating an appearance by former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash to distract from frontman Lemmy‘s health problems, but accuses the iconic singer of a lacklustre performance.
“Lemmy pulls through,” writes Benninghoff, “[but] voice thin, legs wobbly, he tortures himself. It may sound like blasphemy: But basically [he] stands as a sad figure on the stage. Without strength. Physically, certainly not, and the power of persuasion is also missing.” The band disagree.
“Lemmy is 68 years old, should he look like Justin Beiber???????,” they write. “We aren’t sure what kind of drugs that you were taking at Coachella Dirk, but Lemmy’s legs NEVER shook and are solid as a ROCK! Say what you want about us, but when you call our friend names, we take offense!!”
In retaliation for his slanderous review, the band kindly shared Benninghoff’s Twitter details and beseeched any and all fans that “saw our shows at Coachella and in Los Angeles this past weekend” to let him “know how you feel by leaving a comment below and by Tweeting him.”
According to the band’s account of events, Benninghoff’s review is a result of being denied a band interview. “Because of time constraints, we weren’t able to do press the night of our show at Coachella, we very nicely explained this to Dirk and he took it personal and TRASHED us.”
Watch: Motörhead – Ace of Spades Live at Coachella 2014