Motörhead’s founding guitarist, Larry Wallis passed away on September 19, at the age of 70. The cause of the death is still unknown, Ultimate Classic Rock reports.
Larry Wallis, best known as a member of the Pink Fairies and an early member of Motörhead, had his roots in the hard rock of the ’70s. The English guitarist started his journey in 1968 as the founder of the group The Entire Sioux Nation and as a former member of Stevie Peregrin Took’s 1970 band Shagrat. Wallis then joined Blodwyn Pig in 1971 and supported UFO for eight months in 1972. His talents were recognized at its heights during his services in the legendary metal bands Pink Fairies and Motörhead.
In 1972, after leaving UFO as a lead guitarist, Larry Wallis was invited to join Pink Fairies as a second guitarist. Wallis eventually took over the songwriting and singing duties and replaced former guitarist Mick Wayne. The band delivered 1973’s hardcore excursion Kings of Oblivion, the album included mostly Wallis-penned songs. After the release of 1973’s album, the group continued touring but Wallis departed because he was discontent about group members Duncan Sanderson and Russell Hunter’s attitude. In 1975, the Kings of Oblivion-era lineup reunited for a special London gig. From there, Wallis rejoined Pink Fairies’ ranks and brought about an official reformation of the band until 1977, when the band announced they were splitting up again. A decade later, the reformed original lineup, including Wallis, released Kill ‘Em and Eat ‘Em before calling it quits for good. Paul Rudolph wasn’t part of the project.
In 1975, Motörhead’s leader Lemmy Kilmister drafted Pink Fairies guitarist Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox to complete the lineup. In early 1976, Wallis signed with United Artists label and headed into the studio to record On Parole. The album, which later had great commercial success, was intended as Motörhead’s debut album, but that didn’t come out until over three years later in 1979. The band spent most of 1976 struggling and was shortly joined by “Fast” Eddie Clarke. In the same year, the four-piece rock and roll band turned into a trio because Wallis left the band.
Since the late 70s, Wallis had become the in-house producer and recording artist to Stiff Records. Stiff Records signed various acts, such as Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe Lene Lovich, Wreckless Eric, the Damned and more. By producing numerous artists, Wallis rode the punk and new wave periods. In 1980, Wallis finally decided to leave Stiff Records, who left Wallis’ album unreleased because of his rejection to a seven-album deal.