‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, Motörhead Guitarist, Dead at 67
The last remaining member of Motörhead's "classic" lineup died peacefully in hospital, where he was being treated for pneumonia.
Paul Welsh / Redferns
‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, the last surviving member of what is considered to be Motörhead’s classic lineup, has died. He was 67. The news was confirmed on Motörhead’s Facebook page this morning. Clarke had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia.
Clarke was born and raised in Twickenham, London, and played guitar in a handful of professional bands before a chance encounter with drummer Phil Taylor led him to audition for Motörhead in March 1976. Over the next six years, Clarke, Taylor, and frontman Lemmy Kilmister recorded the albums that hurled Motörhead into the mainstream—or as close to the mainstream as their sweaty, snarling, salivating rock ‘n’ roll could take them. On Motörhead, Overkill, Ace of Spades, Bomber, and the live album, No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith, Clarke’s frantic riffs and careening solos helped to forge one of the most recognizable and relentless sounds in heavy music.
Clarke left the band in 1982 after the release of Iron Fist. He formed Fastaway with former UFO bassist Pete Way, and the band released seven albums over the next three decades. He released a handful of solo albums, including 1994's It Aint Over Till It's Over, which featured a guest appearance from Lemmy on "Laugh at the Devil." He also rejoined Lemmy onstage in Birmingham, England in 2014 to guest on "Ace Of Spades."
Clarke was the last remaining member of Motörhead’s "classic" lineup. Taylor died of liver failure in November 2015; Lemmy died of cancer a few weeks later.
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