A CAMPAIGN launched by Motörhead fans in Madrid is calling for a street in the city to be named after the hard rock group's recently-deceased lead singer, Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister.
Using the web platform Decide Madrid – set up by the city council to allow residents to participate in local policy-making – the group of fans recalled that in September 2014, the then mayoress Ana Botella (PP) unveiled the Plaza de Margaret Thatcher in memory of the late British Conservative prime minister.
“Mrs Thatcher's relationship with Madrid was almost anecdotal, but was enough for the city to grant her this recognition, according to the council at the time,” the campaign preamble reads.
“But one of Baroness Thatcher's compatriots, Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister, has been in Madrid far more times than the British PM had – dozens of times, in fact – and his visits always attracted hundreds of people.
“Lemmy's sudden death on December 28 has generated a clamour for recognition and respect on a level rarely seen when a heavy-rock group musician passes away.”
The campaigners recall how Motörhead 'always enjoyed a huge welcome' in Madrid, where the band's tracks 'have been the soundtrack for thousands of residents in all neighbourhoods where rock 'n' roll was far more than just a musical style'.
Motörhead's heyday of the 1980s coincided with the so-called Movida Madrileña, a true renaissance in the city of arts, music and entertainment of which Madrid was arguably the cultural capital.
Bands and solo artists from all over the world used to flock to Madrid 'seeking the warmth of the city's people', the campaign reads, whilst Madrid-based groups 'managed to amass huge audiences beyond the focal point of the Movida'.
But this rock fervour has 'gradually burned out over the past few decades' thanks to Madrid's own political leaders, the Motörhead fans claim.
“The lack of suitable venues, and laws such as those banning under-18s from entering concert areas, have made Madrid far more boring,” the text says.
Taking advantage of the fact that a brand-new and very different local government got into power in May 2015 – the left-wing coalition led by Manuela Carmena, a retired judge with a strong social and humanitarian conscience – the group of fans say they want to try to revive popular culture and pay tribute to artists 'admired by the people of Madrid, irrespective of where in the world they came from'.
“This is why we propose that a street be named after Lemmy Kilmister who, unfortunately, has now met the main requirement for the honour: that of having died.
“Is this extravagant? Over a decade ago, our neighbouring town of Leganés hit international headlines when it dedicated a street to the Australian band AC/DC.
“And what has Lemmy got to do with our street maps? Well, the same as Margaret Thatcher, although Lemmy was more cool.”
If the proposal gets enough votes on the website, in accordance with Sra Carmena's new procedures, it will automatically be discussed and voted on in an open council meeting.
Madrid is currently on a major drive to rename streets, with over 30 roads in the capital bearing names relating to General Franco's dictatorship – those of military captains, admirals and generals fighting for Franco's cause, his ex-ministers, and significant dates or battle names.
Under Spain's Law of Historic Memory, any symbols, monuments, plaques or street names with a pro-Franco theme or relating to the dictator himself have to be removed.
Among those Madrid is working on retitling, the city council party, Ahora Madrid, and the socialists want to name one after the author José Luis Sampedro – who was born in the capital and passed away in April 2013 – and another after Alan Monteliu Albert, the 17-year-old transsexual schoolboy from Barcelona who committed suicide recently due to bullying over his condition.