Ian Anderson Recalls Lemmy Kilmister’s Now-Controversial Joke

In a recent interview with Finland’s Chaoszine, Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson reminisced about late Motörhead leader Lemmy Kilmister while discussing the use of umlauts in the title of their new album ‘RökFlöte.’ Anderson shared his thoughts on Lemmy’s fascination with militaria and warfare, his personality, and how it might have bordered on the unhealthy side of normal.

Lemmy Kilmister was known for his distinctive voice, style, and approach to music, but his interests went beyond the stage. He had a fascination with German military regalia, and he collected Nazi memorabilia because he liked the way they looked. However, this led to accusations of Nazi sympathies. According to Ian Anderson, the use of umlaut in Mötley Crüe is related to Lemmy’s fascination with that era.

During the interview, Anderson touched upon the significance of umlauts in ‘RökFlöte‘ and how it related to Lemmy’s use of umlaut in Motörhead’s name. He claimed that they have a legitimate reason to use umlauts in ‘RökFlöte.’ Ian then recalled that Lemmy once referred to the umlaut in Motörhead as the ‘Nazi dots‘ and commented that if he were to do that today, he would probably be vilified for it.

Speaking to Finland’s Chaoszine, Ian Anderson said the following:

“If you’re going to bring an umlaut into the world in a rock album — not just one but two in the title alone — then you’ve gotta be sure of your ground. And it’s, to me, kind of important that there’s a real reason for those umlauts, partly because ‘Rök,’ in old Icelandic, is spelled with an umlaut, a word meaning ‘destiny,’ and ‘Flöte’ in the German language has an umlaut over the ‘O’.

So they are legitimate; they are correct — unlike Motörhead or Mötley Crüe. There are those sorts of use of the umlaut, which is suggestive of something that has to do with an era of history that I think we should put behind us. We shouldn’t forget it, but we shouldn’t be, in some way, showing any infatuation with that world today.

Lemmy once referred to the umlaut in Motörhead, he referred to it as the ‘Nazi dots.’ I mean, he did that many years ago — obviously, when he was alive — but if he were to do that today, he’d probably be finding himself vilified for some fascination with that Nazi era. Lemmy, in his simple way, was a bit of a historian about aspects of militaria and warfare, but it might have bordered on the unhealthy side of normal.”

So, Ian Anderson claims that Jethro Tull’s upcoming album ‘RökFlöte’ has a real reason for the use of umlauts. However, he believes that Mötley Crüe and Motörhead’s use weren’t legitimate or correct. Lemmy Kilmister had previously said that he got the idea of using umlaut in Motörhead from Blue Öyster Cult, but Ian’s remarks suggest otherwise.