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Motörhead's first guitarist Larry Wallis dies aged 70

Larry Wallis with the Pink Fairies in 1973 © Getty

Larry Wallis, Motörhead’s first guitarist and a member of the psychedelic rock band the Pink Fairies, has died at the age of 70.

In a statement on their official website, Motörhead said no cause of death has been revealed at the time of writing. 

While a member of the Pink Fairies, Wallis jumped ship and joined Motörhead in May 1975 with ex-Hawkwind star Lemmy and drummer Lucas Fox, who was replaced by Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor later that year. 

From September 1975 to February 1976, he played on what was intended to be Motörhead’s first album and wrote the track ‘On Parole’, and co-wrote ‘Fools’ and ‘Vibrator’. The group also recorded a version of the Pink Fairies’ ‘City Kids’. 

Ultimately the album was shelved and left unreleased at the time of completion. However, buoyed by the success of the commercial success of ‘Overkill’ and ‘Bomber’, United Artists released the album as ‘On Parole’ in December 1979 much to the dissatisfaction of the band. 


Wallis had left Motörhead more than three years earlier in February 1976 and was replaced by "Fast" Eddie Clarke. 

Prior to his brief but pivotal time with Motörhead, Wallis was a member of The Entire Sioux Nation, Shagrat, Blodwyn Pig and the aforementioned Pink Fairies. He was also had a brief eight-month tenure with UFO and toured Europe with them in 1972. 

In the late 70s and into 1980s he became an esteemed in-house producer at Stiff Records and he also released two double A-side solo singles ‘Police Car'/'On Parole' in 1977 and 'Leather Forever'/'Seeing Double' in 1984. 

Wallis helmed the Wreckless Eric albums ‘A Louder Silence’ and ‘Wreckless Eric’, and in 1987 he reformed the Pink Fairies and released the album ‘Kill 'Em and Eat 'Em’ with them that year. 

He released one solo album during his career, ‘Death in the Guitafternoon’ in 2001.

RIP Larry Wallis.

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