‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, guitarist and last surviving member of the “classic” Mötorhead lineup, has died at the age of 67. The news was announced earlier yesterday on the band’s official Facebook page, in a post saying that “Fast Eddie passed peacefully in hospital where he was being treated for pneumonia.”
Clarke was a member of Mötorhead from 1976 to 1982, alongside Lemmy Kilmister, who died in December 2015, and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, who died in November 2015.
He was the last of the original three to join the band, and played on its first six albums, including such classics of the heavy-metal genre as Ace of Spades and the live album No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith.
With a hard-driving sound that blended metal, punk, and classic ‘60s – Rock N’ Roll influences at breakneck speed, Mötorhead was an unlikely force on the pop charts. But they were a force, with several top 40 singles in the U.K. during Clarke’s tenure with the band. But more than that, Mötorhead reshaped the hard-rock sound, and whole subgenres, like thrash and speed metal, bear its manic influence.
Clarke left Mötorhead in 1982 in the midst of a U.S. tour, forming the hard-rock outfit Fastway with former UFO bassist Pete Way soon after. Way would leave the band before it recorded a single song, but Clarke would remain through several decades and multiple lineup changes. Fastway would go on to release seven albums, with Clarke occasionally joining Mötorhead on stage for guest appearances over the years.