×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Motorhead Guitarist ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke Dies at 67

“Fast” Eddie Clarke, the last surviving member of Motorhead’s classic 1976-82 lineup, died Wednesday after being hospitalized for pneumonia, according to a post on the band’s Facebook page. He was 67.

While Clarke went on to form Fastway with former UFO bassist Pete Way, he is best remembered for his work with Motorhead, which despite a blistering hard-rock sound and leader Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister’s harsh vocals had several high-charting records in the U.K., including a No. 1 with their legendary 1981 live album “No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith” — even the album’s title has become an oft-parodied catch-phrase, not least by the Beastie Boys with their 1986 song “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” Clarke left the band at the peak of its success, yet their influence has been vast and lasting: they were a prototype for many thrash and speed-metal bands and their songs have been covered by Metallica and many others.

Motorhead was formed by Kilmister in 1975 after he was ejected from the LSD-addled British psychedelic act Hawkwind — who’d had a British hit in the early ’70s with “Silver Machine,” which he sang — ironically for being arrested for possession of amphetamines. An original lineup faltered, but he united with London-born Clarke and wild-man drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and the combination gelled: In a VH1 documentary on the band, Clarke recalls saying after Taylor’s audition, “What a ‘orrible little sh–. He’s perfect!”

The band released its debut single, also called “Motorhead,” on the British independent label Chiswick, in 1977, and even at the height of the punk-rock explosion, it’s difficult to convey how galvanizing that song sounded: A lightning-fast roar of distorted guitars and drums and throat-shredding vocals that’s over before the listener knows what’s hit them. It set the template for the band’s sound, and while the group benefitted and was lumped in with the fast-rising “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” — which also spawned bands ranging from Iron Maiden to Def Leppard — Motorhead was slightly outside of that realm, with connections in both the punk and ’60s-rock world (Kilmister was a veteran of the scene and even roadied for Jimi Hendrix before joining Hawkwind).

Their template set, the band followed with a string of similar-sounding albums — “Bomber,” “Ace of Spades,” “Overkill,” the titles say it all — and by the time “Hammersmith” topped the British charts, they were one of the biggest bands in the country. However, they lost momentum with their follow-up, “Iron Fist,” and Clarke left soon after. He formed Fastway and ultimately released seven albums with the band; Kilmister carried on with a new lineup (with Taylor rejoining from 1987-92). Clarke rejoined the band onstage for guest appearances on several occasions over the years. The three appear in several documentaries on the band.

Taylor died of liver failure in November of 2015, and Kilmister, for decades a staple at the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip (where a statue of him now stands), passed away from cancer the following month.

 

More Music

  • Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins

    Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins Interscope as Executive VP

    Interscope Geffen A&M announced today that veteran executive, producer and songwriter Nir Seroussi will join the company as executive vice president. The announcement was made by Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO John Janick, to whom Serioussi will report. (Seroussi, center, is pictured above with Janick, left, and Interscope EVP Joie Manda.) According to the [...]

  • Static and Ben El

    Haim Saban-Backed Static & Ben El Bring Israeli Smash 'Tudo Bom' to the Masses

    In a sun-lit conference room in Capitol Records in Hollywood, Israeli singer Liraz Russo, known by the stage name “Static” (a moniker he earned as a fiery teen), dances around to the Reggaeton-flavored beat of the hit song “Tudo Bom.” The bouncy track, recorded by Static and co-vocalist Ben El Tavor, a pop duo known [...]

  • Pink

    Pink Drops New Single, ‘Walk Me Home,” Album Due in April (Listen)

    Pink released her new single “Walk Me Home” today. The new track was written by Nate Reuss (lead singer of Fun.), Scott Harris and Pink, and produced by Peter Thomas and Kyle Moorman. The singer teased “Walk Me Home” two weeks ago when she appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” and also announced she will [...]

  • Isabela Moner Marcel Ruiz Rosa Salazar

    Variety Announces 10 Latinxs to Watch 2019

    Variety has announced this year’s 10 Latinxs to Watch, and has also selected the Miami Film Festival as a partner for the annual celebration of promising talent in the Latino community that will include a panel and film screenings. This year’s honorees are Isabela Moner (“Dora the Explorer”), Rosa Salazar (“Alita: Battle Angel,” “Bird Box”), [...]

  • Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of

    Chris Stapleton, Dan + Shay, Kacey Musgraves Top ACM Awards Nominations

    Chris Stapleton and Dan +Shay emerged as the top nominees as the contenders for the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards were announced Wednesday, with six nods each. Kacey Musgraves followed closely behind with five, and Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha all claimed four nominations apiece. The ACMs telecast takes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content