Rockbrat remembers: Fast Eddie Clarke and Fastway (1950-2018)

It’s funny how time has a way of shifting the collective consciousness of the public. In 2018 – metal bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Metallica are very well known, even commonly known, bands and indeed – brands. For those of us who were into these bands in the early to mid 80s – they, and the metal genre, was very much underground. The irony that Lemmy is so iconic and influential to so many nowadays is not lost on me. Not sure how many of these people were around when Motorhead toured Australia in the early 80s and played the clubs – places like Shellharbour Workers and Nunawading Skate Park. Anyway. Whilst all the media are paying homage to Fast Eddie’s legacy and his work with Motorhead, few have mentioned his work post Motorhead, with Fastway. I LOVED Fastway. In 1983 Mr Rockbrat gave me a copy of Fastway’s first LP, and what a ripper it was. I don’t need Dave Grohl or Slash telling me how great Eddie Clarke was.

Fastway kicked serious arse, and had great songs, with the identifiable guitar sound of Clarke and Humble Pie’s Jerry Shirley on drums. No one sounded like Dave King on vocals. After the debut album, the next album, ‘All Fired Up’ was also killer. In 1986, Fastway made the soundtrack for the heavy metal horror film, Trick or Treat. The film flopped, but the soundtrack re-established Fastway as a hard-hitting metal band. The soundtrack was a moderate success, and stayed on the Billboard Top 200 chart for eleven months. Subsequent albums followed, yet none were as good as those first 3 or four years to 86/87. Fast Eddie Clarke died on 10 January 2018. Godspeed.


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