Guitar legend “Fast” Eddie Clarke has died. The former Motorhead guitarist and Fastway co-founder passed away after being hospitalized for pneumonia, according to Rolling Stone. Clarke, whose guitar work was featured on five of Motorhead’s classic early albums in the late 1970s and early ’80s, including the band’s iconic release, 1980’s Ace of Spades, was 67-years-old.
“Fast” Eddie Clarke was the last surviving member of Motorhead’s classic trio that included singer Lemmy Kilmister and drummer Phil “Philthy Animal,” who both died in 2015. Motorhead disbanded after Lemmy’s death in December 2015.
Three years after the death of Lemmy, the unexpected death of guitar great “Fast” Eddie Clarke has sent more shockwaves through the heavy metal community.
In addition to statements posted on the Official Motorhead Twitter page and Fastway’s social media accounts, the most recent Motorhead drummer, Mikkey Dee, expressed shock over “Fast” Eddie Clarke’s death. Dee posted the following to Facebook.
“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 UK this summer when we around with the Scorps…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.”
In addition, final Motorhead guitarist Phil Campbell wrote, “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 A TRUE ROCK N ROLLER. RIP EDDIE.”
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich posted an especially poignant remembrance of “Fast” Eddie Clarke, captioning a photo of the late rock star with this tribute.
“Thank you for the riffs. Thank you for the solos. Thank you for the attitude. Thank you for being in the coolest band. Thank you for inspiring me to go down the same path.”
Many other rock stars paid tribute to “Fast” Eddie, including Guns ‘N Rose frontman Axl Rose and singer Michael Des Barres. You can see some of the tweets about the sudden death of “Fast” Eddie Clarke below.
Heartbreak across the globe today. https://t.co/L0APgv3DWz— Official Motörhead (@myMotorhead) January 11, 2018
All of us at Fastway HQ are absolutely heartbroken to have to post this - we have lost a legend.— Fastway (@FastwayOfficial) January 11, 2018
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.
RIP Fast Eddie pic.twitter.com/d1itpOG0xG
RIP Fast Eddie Clarke— Axl Rose (@axlrose) January 11, 2018
Being a “motorheadbanger” from early on I will never forget what Lemmy, Philthy and Fast Eddie meant to me . The look, the sound and the vibe helped mold the artist I would become.— Charlie Benante (@skisum) January 11, 2018
Rip Fast Eddie, another sad day , ps- Fastway was Great! @myMotorhead #fasteddieclarke
RIP Fast Eddie Clark. I'll never forget the meal we had together. A true gentleman and one of my rock heroes.— mark lanegan (@marklanegan) January 11, 2018
We've just heard our good friend Fast Eddie Clarke has died.— Saxon (@SaxonOfficial) January 11, 2018
Our thoughts go out to his loved ones and family. He will be greatly missed, but he's gone to join Phil and Lemmy. We have great memories of our times with him.
“Fast” Eddie Clarke’s last album with Motorhead was 1982’s Iron Fist before he parted ways with the band over tensions that included the group’s bizarre decision to partner with the punk rock band the Plasmatics for an EP featuring a cover of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man,” according to Blabbermouth. After he left Motorhead, Clarke went on to co-found Fastway with former UFO bassist Pete Way, where the rocker showed off his guitar prowess on heavy metal hits like “Say What You Will” and “Tell Me.”
While he never rejoined Motorhead, ‘Fast” Eddie Clarke stayed on good terms with the members of his former band. Lemmy Kilmister even helped Eddie Clarke out by writing and singing the track “Laugh at the Devil” on Clarke’s 1994 solo album, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over. In addition, Eddie reunited with his Motorhead bandmate for a 25th-anniversary concert in 2000 and performed “Ace of Spades” at a Motorhead show in England in 2014, just one year before Lemmy’s death.
You can see “Fast” Eddie Clarke performing one of Motorhead’s biggest hits in the video below.