Vardis main man Steve Zodiac has been publishing his rock ‘n’ roll memories weekly on his Instagram feed, previously unpublished images, video reels and stories from “1974 to infinity and beyond.” This week he shared a photo with Lemmy from around 1979.
“This photograph was taken at the Electric Ballroom London after recording our 100mph live album circa 1979,” writes Steve. “I was still sweating and buzzing after just playing the show, and here I am backstage with Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead. Someone had just said, ‘smile for the camera!’
“Lemmy always came along to our London shows in those days and often had words of wisdom for me such as ‘we rock ‘n’ rollers have to stick together’, ‘eat the rich’ and ‘fuck Douglas’.”
In an earlier interview with MetalTalk, Steve explained how, with personal family problems in his life, the guitar proved the perfect tool and inspiration to bring focus. “It became an obsession,” he said. “I literally practised every day, and I say this now to anybody that wants to learn to play the guitar. It’s like learning a language. If you do a little bit every day, you’ll get there. It might take two or three or four years, but you will get there.”
Steve’s wife Irene worked closely with Motörhead in PR at that time. “It was a real struggle for them to get recognised in those days because they did not slot easily into these pigeonholes that we now know. They just seemed to want to do that to everybody. That’s why, in a way, I have a lot of respect for punk music because that attitude of punk is really part of the Vardis thing.”
Earlier, Steve shared a chart from 1981. “Just remembering some of the bands we played shows with from this era and this Record Mirror UK Heavy Metal chart from April 1981 reminded me of Limelight, Magnum, Praying Mantis, Hawkwind, Saxon, White Spirit, Ozzy, Motörhead,” says Steve.
“Nice that Power Under Foot from The Worlds Insane album was at the top spot and includes the following lyrics…
Said you where leaving the country
You said you had a hit song
I’m loving you and hating you
I think I got a number one.”
1980 and Vardis played the infamous Heavy Metal Barn Dance in Bingley Hall, with Motörhead, Saxon, Girlschool and Angel Witch. A memorable session on the Friday Rock Show also happened. “Tommy Vance and Tony Wilson, what great guys,” Steve says. “They were enthusiasts, and I keep using that word, but it is important. Without that enthusiasm for rock music, I really do think this is where the music business goes astray, and that’s why certain individuals in the music business cause problems, as they did for me in the end.”
You can reach Steve Zodiac on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/steve_zodiac_vardis/.