He was the hard-drinking, hard-smoking, leather-clad wild man who was one of rock’s greatest icons as the leader of Motörhead.
But it wasn’t front-man Lemmy’s antics that saw his first band, Hawkwind, banned from the Caird Hall after a wild Dundee gig 50 years ago.
The fact dancer Stacia liked to perform naked as the prog-rock giants played was more of a problem for the powers that be.
But let’s go back to the start.
The band was formed in 1969 and by the time of their 1971 album In Search Of Space, Hawkwind were infamous for their sci-fi themed music and theatrical concerts.
Stacia met the band’s Nik Turner at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 but she first appeared on stage with Hawkwind in Redruth on April 15 1971.
She hitched down to the Flamingo Ballroom in Redruth and asked if she could dance and they said: “Yes, if you take all your clothes off and paint your body.”
Stacia agreed and immediately became an integral part of the live show and her routine included a mime of a robot who was given a pill and becomes human for a spell.
Lemmy then auditioned for Hawkwind in August 1971 as a guitar player but they didn’t need one so he was persuaded to pick up the bass and the rest is history.
With Lenny at the helm the band enjoyed a meteoric rise over the next 12 months.
Silver Machine was released as a single on June 9 1972, after the original vocals from the band’s Bob Calvert were re-recorded with Lemmy’s legendary growl!
The song reached number three in the UK singles charts and Hawkwind appeared on the BBC’s Top of the Pops a fortnight before the Caird Hall concert.
Silver Machine was still riding high in the charts and tickets were 50p for the July 29 performance that resulted in them being banned 50 years ago.
It was quite the evening…
Stacia liked a Tequila before a performance
Toasting the pipes well in advance of their upcoming set, Lemmy and his band-mates spent the day drinking and allegedly taking drugs before getting to the Caird Hall.
Stacia apparently liked a shot of Dutch courage to reduce performance anxiety!
“I’m not as over-confident as people think,” she said.
“I drink like two fishes, but I don’t seem to get drunk. I can still be relatively together after a couple of hours boozing.
“I love Tequila: it gives you that terrific warm feeling, doesn’t it?”
The band arrived on stage in dribs and drabs for the hypnotic performance, which featured pulsating electronics and Hawkwind’s famous lights show.
Set highlights from Lemmy and the band included The Black Corridor, Seven By Seven, Brainstorm, Master Of The Universe, Paranoia and Silver Machine.
Silver Machine proved to be the climax of the Hawkwind set and Stacia performed a five-minute dance sequence wearing little but greasepaint.
The Courier said: “She paraded on stage during a rendering of their hit song Silver Machine.
“The girl, a brunette, had been on and off the stage at various times during the act sporting only a brief poncho.
“She rushed on stage as the final number began and threw off her poncho.
“An eye-witness said she stood almost at the edge of the stage for about a minute while young fans with cameras took photographs.”
John Gibson from Fintry Drive gave his take on events to the newspaper.
“The girl came rushing on as the band launched into their hit number, and suddenly everyone realised she didn’t have a thing on.
“This came right out of the blue, but lasted for at least five minutes.
“At the end many in the audience were cheering enthusiastically – not for the music – but for the unannounced act.
“At one stage she posed for young amateur photographers.
“Many of the young girls in the audience were embarrassed including my girlfriend Ann.”
The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks?
The police should have been called
Lord Provost Willie Fitzgerald decided to investigate after receiving a complaint and subsequently made it clear that the band would not be allowed back.
It turned out that they had actual procedures in place at the Caird Hall to prevent such an “incident” occurring but it didn’t go to plan on the night.
He said: “This band will not be allowed back to the hall and no further bookings will be accepted from their agent for any group.
“One of the conditions of let is that there will be no acts of this nature.
“There is a standing order to the person in charge that if anything like this does happen, the lights will be put out immediately, the police will be called, and a charge brought against the person responsible.
“Unfortunately the usual person was not present when this incident took place and the instruction was not carried out.”
Lemmy stayed with the band until 1975 when he was sacked after being arrested in Canada for drug possession before going on to form Motörhead.
His departure, along with that of Stacia and Robert Calvert, marked the end of an era for a band which has gone through many incarnations in the past five decades.
Lemmy returned to Dundee with Motörhead in 1977 to play the Bowling Alley before going back to the Caird Hall stage with his new band in 1980.
He continued to record and tour with Motörhead until his death on December 28 2015.
Meanwhile, Hawkwind returned to perform at Dundee University in March 1982.
And what became of Stacia?
She last appeared at the Reading Festival in August 1975 but returned to the stage in July 2019 with former Hawkwind member Nik Turner in North Devon.
She was fully clothed this time!
Joe Banks, author of Hawkwind: Days of the Underground – Radical Escapism in the Age of Paranoia, said Hawkwind have been victims of their own longevity after splitting up in March 1978 at the end of an underwhelming American tour.
“As it was, they quickly reconfigured themselves as the new wave-anticipating Hawklords, before reverting back to their original name a year later,” he said.
“But what if they’d stayed split up? Would they have been reappraised by the media cognoscenti and talked of in the same reverent tones as the likes of Can?
“Or more likely, would they have remained marginalised and maligned, the eternal square peg in the round hole of British music culture?”
Hawkwind have gone on to release more than 40 albums.
They are still going strong in 2022 with Hawkwind founding member and electronics guru Dave Brock still performing with the current line-up.
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