Lemmy began writing the song, “The Mask”, back in 1979, and recorded it with Kay in 2009. After sitting on the shelf for 10 years, the track serves as the lead single on Kay’s upcoming double album, Black & Gold, which arrives on September 20th.
“Big news! The first single on my new double album Black & Gold is a the long-lost duet I wrote and recorded with my dear friend Lemmy of Motörhead called ‘The Mask’,” stated Kay. “I’m so proud of this song, hope you enjoy it too.”
On the track (listen below), Lemmy’s singing is not as gravelly as the signature vocals he provided for Motörhead, yet is still clearly recognizable.
In an interview last year with the guitar company Gretsch, Kay talked about how the duet came about, recalling, “Lemmy was a good friend and we used to sit around and play music, read poetry, or watch TV together. Sometimes I’d fry him a steak and serve it with the whole milk he’d ask me to bring him when I was coming over.”
She continued, “The way the duet came together was one night I stopped by The Rainbow on Sunset Blvd. to say hi to Lemmy after I’d just been recording at Billy Bob Thornton’s recording studio. When he asked ‘Where you been Lyn?’ and I told him I was at Billy Bob’s recording a duet, he said, ‘Well, when are we going to do a duet together?’ I said, ‘Tonight?’ then we laughed and talked about recording a song he’d started in the ’70s called ‘The Mask’. We finished writing the song, went into the studio, and recorded it together.”
She added, “I feel honored to have written and sung this song with Lemmy and I really hope to have it on my album so people can hear how incredible he sounds. Lemmy was always so sweet and supportive of me, I want him to be remembered as the kind and thoughtful gentleman he truly was. I sure miss him a lot.”
Linda Kay’s upcoming album also includes contributions from John Legend, Jeff Beck, Brian Wilson, Tedeschi Trucks, Rita Coolidge, Jackson Browne, and Jenny Lewis. Both the single and the Black & Gold LP are available here. Take a listen to “The Mask” below.