The classic Motorhead line-up. L-R: Lemmy, Philthy Animal Taylor, Fast Eddie Clarke

Motörhead’s “Fast” Eddie Clarke dies, aged 67

“Fast” Eddie Clarke, guitarist with Motörhead from 1976 until 1982, has died at the age of 67 after being hospitalised with pneumonia, bringing down the curtain on the band’s best known and most commercially successful line-up.

Clarke joined the band in 1976 after being introduced to Lemmy by drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Together the trio recorded five studio albums: Motörhead (1977), Overkill (1979), Bomber (1979), Ace of Spades (1980) and Iron Fist (1982), plus the classic live set No Sleep ’til Hammersmith which topped the UK album chart in 1981. The most commercially successful of the band’s many line-ups, the trio also released the hit singles Ace of Spades and Motörhead (Live) as well as collaborating with Girlschool on their biggest hit, 1981’s St Valentine’s Day Massacre EP.

Disillusioned with the band’s direction, specifically Lemmy’s duet with Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics on a version of Stand By Your Man, Clarke quit the band in 1982. He went on to form Fastway with Pete Way of UFO, releasing seven albums with the band between 1983 and 1992. He released a solo album It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over in 1994, which included a collaboration with Lemmy on the track Laugh at the Devil. Clarke occasionally reunited with Motörhead on stage, including a performance of Overkill at London’s Astoria in 1997 and the band’s 25th anniversary concert in 2000.

Clarke was the last surviving member of Motörhead’s classic power trio line-up; Lemmy was claimed by cancer in December 2015, just week’s after Taylor’s death from liver failure.