Bel Air, California

Angel City by Motörhead

I got a buncha boys
We make a lot of noise
Little bit crazy
Playing with chemical toys Read full Lyrics
Bel Air at Bellagio and Sunset BlvdBel Air at Bellagio and Sunset Blvd
It isn't apparent to outsiders, but heavy metal bands have a hierarchy. If you're a Poison or Guns 'n' Roses fan, Def Leppard and Black Sabbath fans will look down on you. Iron Maiden fans and Megadeth fans look down on fans of Def Leppard and Black Sabbath. And if you follow the chain all the way up to the top, you'll find Motorhead all by itself. If you're a Motorhead fan, everybody else is a wimp.

If Motorhead moved next door to you, your lawn would die. That's the stated intent of Lemmy Kilmister in interviews where he cited Motorhead as not being intended to be heavy metal so much as "the dirtiest rock n' roll band in the world."

By the way, "Motor-head" is the UK slang for "speed freak," as in a methamphetamine addict. But the band isn't avidly pro-drug. In fact, Lemmy originally wanted to simply call the band "Bastard," but his manager talked him out of it.

Oh, and Lemmy doesn't classify his work as heavy metal, speed metal, death metal, or any other label, because he just doesn't like labels. He says he plays "rock and roll." If you want to avoid offending Lemmy (good idea, he's pretty built), you can say that everybody else who plays heavy metal is actually playing Motorhead-style rock. There, is that better?

Lemmy is British-born, but moved to Los Angeles in the early 1990s, with Motorhead already approaching its tenth anniversary. During this time, they'd had a lot of issues with managers, record companies, and producers, who were all making decisions about how the music was to be arranged and packaged, and even how their music was to be composed, without consulting them. For example, Lemmy discovered after the fact that a mix of his song "Going to Brazil" had had claves and tambourines added to it by Ed Stasium.

So when Angel City came out in 1991, it was like Lemmy's Declaration of Independence. The base message of this song is "I want to do as I damn please and to hell with everybody else!" The closing chorus even has the line "The way I'm used is a shame and a pity," expressing how he felt from all of the executive-level meddling.

The rest of the lines are simply a defiant yelp, over-the-top and even with some humor. Beneath his oily, black, hell-for-leather exterior, Lemmy is a considerable master of the English language. His lyrics scan beautifully, with poetic imagery and vivid phrases all over.

Bel Air, which is named in the first line of Angel City, is a district of Los Angeles made even more famous by the theme song to the TV sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It is home to mostly the elite of Hollywood, be they singers, actors, directors, or other artists. Lemmy might have felt, perhaps even rightly so, that a performer with a Bel Air address might have a little more clout in the business end of the music industry. Angel City Songfacts
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