In Memoriam: “Fast” Eddie Clarke

  The new year has already taken a renowned rocker from the world. “Fast” Eddie Clarke of Motörhead died in the hospital fighting pneumonia on Wednesday, Jan. 10. He was 67.

  “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,” Motörhead wrote in an online statement. “Fast Eddie…keep roaring, rockin’ and rollin’ up there as goddamit man, your Motörfamily would expect nothing less!!!”

  Even in his early years Clarke was well-known in the rock scene for his legendary fast and heavy riffs, performing by the age of 15 for multiple local London bands, such as The Bitter End and progressive blues project, Zeus.

  Clarke joined Motörhead, already a known quantity in rock circles, in 1976 a year after they’d officially formed. Fast Eddie had been the last living member of Motörhead’s infamous trio — comprised of himself, lead vocalist/bassist Lemmy Kilmister, and drummer Phil Taylor — which crafted fan-favorites such as Overkill and Ace of Spades.

  His exit from the band in 1982 has been a matter of dispute among fans as well as the band itself, as to whether Clarke left on his own regard or was pushed out by Taylor. Of the four times Motörhead graced the cover of The Aquarian Weekly — in ’89, ’97, ’98 and ’08 — Clarke had already left the band.

  Clarke went on to form Fastway — at its inception, a hard rock group that bore heavy metal teeth — with bassist Pete Way of UFO. The guitarist spent much of his later years sampling an assortment of rock influences and toying with his early blues genesis.

  Now, with Motörhead’s classic lineup possibly together on the other side, one can only hope they’ve reunited and are putting on a show for all the other lost souls.