What Would Lemmy Do?

It’s the middle of the night. Your kid’s been crying her ass off for hours, and you haven’t slept a wink since 5 AM the previous morning. WHAT CAN YOU DO?

You need a true professional to take the wheel. You need to ask yourself: What would Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead do if he were in your shoes? It’s time to strap on your cowboys boots and find out!

Born to Raise Hell

Lemmy’s been on the scene a while now, so it’s safe to assume he probably knows a thing or two about babysitting. No doubt he’d know how some babies get sleepy when driven around the block, so he’d bust through the walls of the bedroom in a big white limousine. Your kid would be startled at first, but then she’d notice the friendly mutton chops, genial grin, and trademark Rickenbacker bass.

After buckling your kid up in a chromium steel car seat, Lemmy would start cruising around the block with one hand on the steering wheel, the other on a bottle of Jack. The constant motion as he careens around the block, combined with the screech of the wheels – not to mention “Ace of Spades” blaring from the speakers – would begin to lull your kid into a deep sleep. That is, until Lemmy pulls over to the local strip bar.

Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead behind a steering wheel, smoking a cigarette and smiling, with a sleeping baby in the backseat buckled into a car seat with pistons attached to it.

Whorehouse Blues

While Lemmy’s getting a lapdance or two, your kid has probably woken up again, and she’s feeling kind of peckish. Although there are plenty of ladies around who could help out, Lemmy’s not one to be outdone. No doubt he had the foresight to bring plenty of milk bottles from your home (or formula, if you’re into that), and now it’s time to start tanking the kid up.

Lemmy knows there’s tryptophan in milk, which will get your kid dreary enough for a nice long nap. There’s no better drinking partner than Lemmy. He really knows how to toss ‘em back, and it’s this skill that he’ll apply to getting your kid nice and sloshed. Shots of Jack Daniels and bottles of milk will flow, and when they’re both good and tanked, it’ll be time for the final phase.

Nightmare, The Dreamtime

After all that, your kid will finally be ready to go down for a nap. Who are we kidding, Lemmy will as well (he’s going to be 70 in December). So Lemmy will break out the ‘ol Rickenbacker and warm up the vocal cords to serenade your kid to sleep. Your kid will start drifting off to the melancholy of “1916,” lulled by the soothing synths and snare marches. Sure, the lyrics are pretty grim, depicting the horrors of war for a child soldier, but she can’t understand them. What’s important is that finally, finally, she’s asleep.

But then Lemmy will probably get bored of all that slow-tempo bollocks. Motörhead hasn’t been in the business for this long by playing ballads. Your kid might start to protest in the change in decibels, but Lemmy will play “I’m So Bad (Baby I Don’t Care)” to show your kid who’s boss. If she starts crying, “Deaf Forever” will let her know what he thinks of that. And of course he’ll play “Ace of Spades” again because, well, just because.

Jesus. When it comes to getting kids to sleep, Lemmy seems like a psychopath. Maybe he’s better off just being a killer frontman, he’s still got a couple good decades in him. Whatever you’re doing to put your kid to sleep has got to be better than this. Take heart that, compared to Lemmy of Motörhead, you’re probably doing just fine. Just hang in there, and all the guts and glory will be yours.

From the Cradle to the Stage

Practicing my stage presence was never one of my hobbies, but it totally is now. Now that I have a child, my hands are, for the most part, no longer functional parts of my body. The space they used to occupy is now 100% filled with baby for a large part of my evenings. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for metal stuff. Or much else, for that matter.

So when inspiration strikes, it’s best to just run with it.

I’ve found that by mimicking a few of metal’s luminaries I can actually get some stuff done. You just have to know whose stage presence will work best. Here are a few I hope you’ll find as useful as I have:

The Robert Trujillo

Robert Trujillo, bassist of Metallica, performing with his trademark stage presence: the crab walk.

I’ll admit I rolled my eyes like everybody else at Newstead’s replacement. His exaggerated bassist’s swagger seemed like he was overcompensating for something. Like, nobody was going to notice you on any …And Justice for All songs anyway, dude. But in the days since the birth of my daughter, I want to send ‘ol Robbie a thank you note. Aping his crab-walk is the only way I can reach the wall socket to plug in my phone while still holding my kid.

As an added plus, I can then drum my fingers along my baby’s back like frets on a bass, which helps release gas that’s gotten trapped in her clenched bowels. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if that was one of the reasons he got the gig in the first place.

The Tipton-Downing Slide

Synchronizing your stage presence is dorky as hell, but if you’re gonna do it, you may as well do it like the pros. Judas Priest guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing must have double-majored in twin-guitar dorkery back in the ’70s before graduating to metal gods, and turns out their style holds up pretty well. Their patented back-and-forth swaying helps me relax my daughter on a daily basis, and I gotta give em credit – it’s a lot harder to keep up than it looks. I have to practice it in a mirror to make sure I’m doing it right, which is the closest thing to playing “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” with my kid as I’m likely to get. At this age, anyway.

The David Lee Roth

Van Halen's David Lee Roth, bending over backward to retrieve a pink pacifier on the ground.

I don’t think Diamond Dave is a practical guy. Anyone who can do the splits and waggle his fingers in the air while singing “Jump” can’t be, can he? But those of us on the pragmatic side can learn a lot from dear ‘ol DLR, especially if we’re holding a baby instead of a mic stand.

Now, I’m nowhere near as flexible as Mr. Roth is, and I’m not committed enough to get on his level (I’m only mostly metal, remember?) But sometimes you gotta get down Davey-style to retrieve a pacifier that’s fallen on the floor.. Just don’t make me wear a glittery vest.

The Trooper Clutch

 

Iron Maiden's "The Trooper," which depicts mascot Eddie in British soldier gear, a flag in one hand, a saber in the other. A baby is clutched against him in this version, though.
“You wake my wife, but you wake me too! Your midnight screaming is because you pooed!”

My daughter is a bit older now, or I’m just more confident when holding her. Maybe both? I’m no longer convinced that how I hold her is the sole thing keeping her from instant death. It’s enough where I’ve been able to get a bit creative when I have to hold her but still have Shit I Have to Do.

The Trooper Clutch is one I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of since she’s gotten better at supporting her neck. I just hold her against my chest with my forearm, and my hands can do their thing. It’s a little like having one human arm and one stunted Tyrannosaur claw, but hey, whatever works. And if I ever feel the need to express my patriotism by holding a sword, a flag, and my baby, I’ll at least know I’m physically capable.

“Baby! Has taken my hands! Taken my arms! Taken my hobbies!”

I have one thing I do in my free time, except at some point I ceased to have any free time, and now I am barely aware of “time” at all. Writing this blog is like an accessory to this Not-Time, a bonus track to the full album that is taking care of a newborn. All the other hobbies I try to keep up just kind of trickle down around those.

It’s not so bad. The little creature has her moments. And I figure if Rick Allen can still play two-hour sets one-handed, surely I can handle a measly twenty minutes. I don’t need to rig up a bionic drum kit to help me hold my daughter, but maybe that’s not such a bad idea.

Still, I’m looking forward to the day when I can regain the use of my hands. That day’s quickly approaching – she’s already craning her neck out of her rock ‘n’ play. Next thing you know she’ll be typing up this blog for me, and then I’ll really have to find some new hobbies.

My Daughter is Monsters

My two-month-old daughter has more in common with Hollywood movie monsters than she does with humans. Oh, she puts on a good show; she acts like a real angel when the grandparents are around. She even smiles at times. It’s all those other times it seems like I’ve spoken some forbidden verbiage and summoned her from hell.

I haven’t seen any evidence to disprove that I have a monster baby. She might even be multiple monsters, all swaddled into one, the human embodiment of Iced Earth’s Horror Show. I haven’t started packing garlic and wolfsbane in the diaper bag just yet, but I’m getting more and more anxious each day once the sun goes down. They don’t call it the witching hour for nothin’.

I’ve seen the signs, and I fear what she might become.

Black and white photo of baby in the style of an old horror movie poster: "She wakes at midnight... a monstrous transformation... she is... THE BABY."

Werewolf

Sundown brings out the beast within. Somewhere between 6 and 8 PM, my daughter becomes filled with lycanthropic frustration. Feeding, changing, rocking, singing – nothing will quell her animalistic fury except to howl inconsolably to her new lunar deity.

I’ve even noticed a patch of hair on her back that is darker than usual, so I’ve started sleeping with the silverware. I doubt it’s real silver, but it makes me feel better.

Vampire

My daughter’s vampiric streak began long before crawling out of the womb, so why stop now? I don’t really understand the logistics of having contracted such a thing while in utero. Maybe it’s hereditary. Either way, the longer she goes without a nap the greater her terrible power grows. She feeds on the living, draining us of sleep and patience.

Make no mistake – my daughter’s not one of those noble vamps, decked out in puffy Elizabethan sleeves, asking politely if she can be let in to share a carafe of dubiously colored wine. No, she’s one of those haggard, blood-starved killers, a real 16th-century bodice-ripper, who would sooner shred apart your corset with her jaw-knives than let that milk go a single more minute not inside her body. My daughter attacks my wife’s mammaries with all the subtlety of a Harlequin romance novel.

Mummy

Somewhere in my family’s history, we must have contracted a curse. How else can I explain our string of nightly misfortunes? At night, the diapers become as wet as the Nile River, followed by raining frogs and boiling seas. I’ve begun tearing through all the junk drawers in the apartment, looking for scarab-shaped amulets.

Swaddling my daughter in the tight confines of a blanket lined with holy hieroglyphics seals away these apocalyptic phenomena, for at least an hour if we’re lucky. But it only delays the inevitable. She will rise again, as she’s done before… eons ago…

Creature from the Black Lagoon

I don’t know much about the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I’ve never seen the movie, and don’t really know the mythology. But I bet the CftBL must smell an awful lot like dirty diapers. For context, a “Black Lagoon” is what you get when you decide to risk ignoring a 2 AM fart, only to find that once day breaks it’s encroached beyond the boundaries of the absorbing pads.

Yes, yes, poop jokes and all. Hilarious! But seriously, I try not to let her diapers get this bad. I’m afraid if I let them go long enough, they’ll crawl from the diaper pail, kidnap women, and take them back to their swampy lair.

Frankenstein’s Monster

My daughter isn’t stitched together from dead bodies. Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s quite the opposite – I think she’s cuter than I could have dreamed, and all her flesh is 100% living (as far as I know). But bringing her into the world surely must have been a sin against God and all creation, for she’s having her vengeance upon us now. I can hear her cursing my name, even though she was fed just two minutes ago.

As much as I would like to flee to some antarctic wasteland every time she’s caught the colic, that’s just not very dadly of me. She’s my creation; I have a responsibility to make sure she eventually knows love, or whatever it was ‘ol Victor was supposed to do. I’ll pay for the wedding, but I won’t be stitching her up a lover.

More Monster Than Man

A monster daughter is trouble for the whole village. But all monsters have a human side, and it’s up to us to help them get in touch with it. Maybe it’s pointless; I hear she’ll become even more monstrous as time goes on. So I guess I’m putting in my dues now, building up my tolerance.

This is one of those things I get to throw in her face when she summons little demons of her own, right?