Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Farewell, "Fast" Eddie Clarke, Motorhead guitarist

As if the title wasn't painfully obvious, the legendary Motorhead guitarist, "Fast" Eddie Clarke is dead at 67 after losing a battle with pneumonia.
He joined Motorhead in 1976. Along with bassist/front man "Lemmy" Kilmister and drummer "Philthy" Phil Taylor, he played on the first five albums Motorhead released. He is just one of the three original members of Motorhead to die. Phil Taylor died in November 2015 and the following month, front man Lemmy died just days after hitting the big 7-0

According to a representative on Motorhead's official Facebook page "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 FB page, having heard from Doug Smith that Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia."
Eddie was born on Oct. 5, 1950, in London. Two bands he was in prior to helping to form Motorhead were the Bitter End and Continuous Performance. He met drummer Phil Taylor while working on a houseboat and learned Taylor had just joined the fledgling band now known as Motorhead. Together with Lemmy's raspy vocals and incredible bass playing, the three of them formed a force in metal to be reckoned with. These three made some of the most legendary albums in metal, according to major fans of the band-1977 Motorhead, 1979 Overkill, 1979 Bomber, 1980 Ace of Spades, 1981 No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith. His last times with the band was during the Iron Fist era.

"I thought I'd probably die in Motorhead some time on stage in my life. That was sort of a band of brothers, really. Time kicks on and situations change, you know." He mentioned during a 2012 interview with Teeth of the Divine.
After leaving the band, Clarke formed Fastway with Pete Way, bassist for UFO. He was shocked when he heard that Brian Robertson, formerly of Thin Lizzy, had stepped in to be the new Motorhead axe slinger. "Phil wanted to get Brian Robertson in the band and I found out later. so I mean, all the cards were stacked against me, so it’s not really a regret. It’s an unfortunate thing that happens, but these things happen, you know, in rock. Of course, I never really got over it. The best years of my life were in Motorhead, and what we did together I think still stands the test of time. So yeah, obviously, some of that can’t go away. I can’t call it a regret because this stuff does get all f---ed up when you are on the road for six years. You are all partying and taking drugs and writing music. It can get quite serious and quite difficult." He said in a 2016 Anti-Hero interview.

Fastway then hit the bottom as Pete Way dropped out and things hit rock bottom. Eddie told Classic Rock Revisited in 2014 "The first album was great and exactly as I planned it. Then, the suits got involved and f---ed everything up and that was that. It recovered briefly with [1986's] Trick or Treat but [lead vocalist] Dave [King] had already decided to leave. He did not want to do heavy rock anymore. That’s the trouble with singers: They always think they are better than the rest. Bands are a team effort, in my opinion."

Clarke did appear on the 2003 Motorhead live album Live at Brixton Academy. When asked about his former bandmates during an interview with Eon Music in 2016, his tone of voice took on a kindly tone. "I did stop partying as heavy as they did. Phil carried on right until he had his aneurism in 2010, and Lemmy – he always paced himself ever since I’ve known him in 1975, but I’m sure he was doing the same thing, so that’s a long time to be partying heavily. But he was strong as an ox, old Lem. But me, I stopped drinking many years ago, so I had the advantage over everybody."

Like the phoenix, rising from the ashes, Fastway was able to rise from the ashes, playing at the 2007 Download Festival. In 2011, the band released their first album in 20 years, Eat Dog Eat. Phil Campbell, who has been the resident Motorhead axe slinger from 1984-2015, when Lemmy's passing ended the band, was more than gracious to pride Eddie in a released statement. "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 always a true rock n roller. RIP Eddie."

Mikkey Dee, long time drummer for Motorhead but now drummer for The Scorpions, was incredibly shocked at the news. He posted this via Facebook. "Oh my f---ing 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 U.K. this summer when we come around with the [Scorpions]. 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."

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