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Former MOTÖRHEAD Guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke Dies Aged 67
January 10th, 2018

Motörhead 1982 (l-r): Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor, Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister and ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke

‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, former guitarist for hard rock group Motörhead, as well as his own band Fastway, died on January 10th, 2018 at the age of 67.

Motörhead issued the following statement: “We are devastated to pass on the news we only just heard ourselves earlier tonight… Edward Allan Clarke – or as we all know and love him Fast Eddie Clarke – passed away peacefully yesterday. Ted Carroll (who formed Chiswick Records) made the sad announcement via his Facebook page, having heard from Doug Smith that Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia. Fast Eddie… keep roaring, rockin’ and rollin’ up there as goddamit man, your Motörfamily would expect nothing less!!!”

Guitarist Phil Campbell, who was a member of Motörhead between 1984 and 2015, commented: “Just heard the sad news that Fast Eddie Clarke has passed away. Such a shock, he will be remembered for his iconic riffs and was a true rock ‘n’ roller. RIP Eddie.”

Scorpions drummer Mikkey Dee, who played with Motörhead from 1992 to 2015, added: “Oh my fucking God, this is terrible news. The last of the three amigos. I saw Eddie not too long ago and he was in great shape. So this is a complete shock.

“Me and Eddie always hit it off great. I was looking forward to seeing him in the UK this summer when we come around with the Scorps. Now Lem and Philthy can jam with Eddie again, and if you listen carefully I’m sure you’ll hear them, so watch out!!! My thoughts go out to Eddie’s family and close ones.”

Edward Allan Clarke was born on October 5th, 1950 in Twikenham, London, England. His musical career began in the late 1960s when he began playing in numerous local bands, eventually turning professional in 1973 when he joined the progressive blues rock group Curtis Knight Zeus as lead guitarist. Clarke recorded two albums with Curtis Knight Zeus – Sea Of Time (1973) and The Second Coming (1974) – before leaving to form the rock band Blue Goose.

After being fired from Blue Goose, Clarke then collaborated with Be-Bop Deluxe bassist Charlie Tumahai in a new project called Continuous Performance. However, having failed to secure a record deal the band split-up in early 1975.

Clarke temporarily quit the music industry, and was working on re-fitting a houseboat when he met drummer Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor, who had just joined Motörhead. Taylor introduced Clarke to Motörhead frontman Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, and ended up joining in early 1976 in what was to become known at the “classic” Motörhead line-up.

The guitarist appeared on five of the band’s full-length studio albums – Motörhead (1977), Overkill (1979), Ace Of Spades (1980), Bomber (1979) and Iron Fist (1982) – as well as the 1981 iconic live album No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith.

Clarke parted ways with Motörhead in 1982 during a North American tour. The guitarist’s last gig with the band was at the New York Palladium on May 14th, 1982.

In 1983 Clarke formed hard rock combo Fastway, releasing a self-titled debut album in April of that year. Fastway went on to release a further six studio albums, All Fired Up (1984), Waiting For The Roar (1985), Trick Or Treat (1986), On Target (1988), Bad Bad Girls (1990) and comeback record Eat Dog, Eat (2011).

‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke also released two solo albums; March 1994’s It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, and April 2014’s Make My Day – Back To Blues.

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