Despite Scott Ian’s show being titled Never Meet Your Heroes, W. Earl Brown couldn’t help but divulge the time he had the opportunity to meet one of his: Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motorhead.
The actor had been a longtime fan of Motorhead and once took a road trip to see the heavy metal band live.
“Whenever we had to go do music for the Meat Loaf [biopic], we would sit in my trailer, crank Motorhead and headbang, get all buzzed and go do our thing,” Brown said. “When we finished the movie, they were playing here, they were on the road with Nashville Pussy. The night of the show in L.A. we had a VH1 function we had to go to, so we were like, ‘To hell with it, let’s road trip to Vegas and see them!'”
Brown said months later his costar in the Meat Loaf film Zachary Throne called him and offered to have him come watch rehearsals for a TV gig Throne was doing with Lemmy, and Brown readily accepted.
“It’s a Sunday morning, it’s like 11, I’m supposed to be there at this little theater here in Hollywood down on Santa Monica. … I walk in and Zach goes, ‘Lemmy, this is my buddy Earl I was telling you about. Earl, Lemmy. Lemmy, Earl,'” Brown recalled. “I get the head-to-toe once-over, he sticks his hand out and goes, ‘Earl, nice meeting you, do you want a drink?’ I thought, ’11 o’clock on Sunday, I really should be at church, but it’s Lemmy. Yeah, sure.’ So we had a few.”
Lemmy proceeded to blow Brown’s mind when he ditched his heavy metal style and started singing the more understated and joyful ABBA.
“He turns to me at one point and goes, ‘Earl, have you ever listened to ABBA?’ And I think he’s pulling my leg so I’m like, ‘F**k no.’ He goes, ‘Well you missed out on the greatest sets of pop melody outside of Lennon and McCartney. Zach, do you know any ABBA?’ Zach goes, ‘Yeah. Fernando?’ So he starts playing and Lem is singing. And I kind of have this [moment] like, ‘Holy s**t it’s Sunday morning, I’m drunk and I’m listening to Lemmy sing ABBA,'” Brown said.
Brown also discussed playing Meat Loaf in the VH1 biopic To Hell and Back. He just so happened to be in costume at the same studio as Meat Loaf, who was shooting another film.
“I’m about 50 yards away and I hear, ‘Earl!’ I stopped and I turned around,” Brown said “The look on his face when he saw me dressed as him, it’s burned in my memory, I’ll never forget it.”
Hear Scott Ian’s full interview with W. Earle Brown on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.
Never Meet Your Heroes airs monthly on VOLUME (Ch. 106) on Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET with re-airings throughout the month.