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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 07:19 GMT
Drug fight unites rocker and Tory
Lemmy (L) and William Graham AM
Double act: Motorhead's Lemmy and Tory AM William Graham
Few would ever have imagined rock legend Lemmy on the same stage as Tory Welsh assembly member William Graham.

But this distinctly unlikely couple will get together at the assembly this week to spread an anti-drugs message.

Mr Graham, 56, the sixth-generation head of his family surveyors' firm, asked Lemmy to share a platform before his group Motorhead play at Cardiff University on Thursday.

"Frankly, young people are more likely to listen to him," said Mr Graham.

It is a powerful message, delivered with all the understanding gained from the unique lifestyle Lemmy has pursued
William Graham AM

Mr Graham was prompted to contact Lemmy by his researcher after a recent Channel 4 documentary on the band, Live Fast Die Old, where he spoke about his hatred of heroin.

It is also the subject of his song Dead Men Tell No Tales, and in an interview on Motorhead's website, he said heroin had killed "a lot of my generation," adding: "It's the only drug I hate."

The AM said he was keen to publicise the anti-drugs campaign and it was more likely to reach its target audience via a rock star "however many committees we have and however much money we spend".

Lemmy on stage
Lemmy is leading Motorhead on their 30th anniversary tour

Mr Graham said while Lemmy had "a reputation for pushing the boundaries of experience in all aspects of life" he had shown in the documentary why he believed could not only "erase your artistic potential, it can erase your life".

He added: "It is a powerful message, delivered with all the understanding gained from the unique lifestyle Lemmy has pursued. It is a view of life that deserves wider consideration".

'Maximum impact'

The AM, who chairs the school funding committee, admitted his knowledge of Motorhead was limited to their biggest hit, Ace of Spades. But he said with Motorhead's reputation of "play hard, work hard and enjoy life to the full," Lemmy's words would be able to reach music fans directly, "with maximum impact guaranteed".

Mr Graham's researcher, Paul Williams, has his own connection to Lemmy.

In the 1970s he wrote lyrics for a Welsh rock band, Touch, who once supported Lemmy's former band, Hawkwind.

Lemmy is taking it incredibly seriously
Paul Williams, AM's researcher

Mr Williams approached Motorhead, and Lemmy agreed to take part when the band were in Cardiff.

They will play at Cardiff University on Thursday night, a few hours after Lemmy's appearance at the assembly.

"Lemmy is taking it incredibly seriously, and his manager says he's writing a speech," said Mr Williams.

Mr Graham cuts quite a contrast with the Motorhead front man.

He has sat as south east Wales AM since the assembly opened, and describes himself as a traditionalist Conservative who has served as a magistrate, deputy chairman of Newport Harbour Commission, and chair of governors at the independent Rougemont School in Newport.

Meanwhile, Lemmy, aged 59, was born Ian Kilmister in Stoke-on-Trent and raised in Anglesey, north Wales. He became a roadie for guitar legend Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.

The bassist found his own fame with Hawkwind in the early 1970s, and sang on their only hit, Silver Machine, which is still revered by rock fans.

After being fired from Hawkwind, Lemmy formed Motorhead.

They have another Welsh connection through guitarist Phil Campbell, from Pontypridd.


SEE ALSO:
'Get past celebrity drug debate'
05 Oct 05 |  UK Politics
Rock fans target 'hero' poll
28 Sep 03 |  Wales
Rocking with the Kerrang! gang
28 Aug 02 |  Entertainment


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