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FAST EDDIE INTERVIEW

Fastway: Fast Eddie Clarke, Toby Jepson, Matt Eldridge

Lemmy must have been nearly 30 – but we were still like schoolboys, and it was quite exciting.

England in a way, but we were one of those bands you either loved or hated. To support Ozzy in the States was great, but the audiences didn’t know how to take us

‘But it was all down to the fans. There was kind of this gap in the rock scene in the late ’70s. All the Black Sabbaths and the Deep Purples had gone off to play in America and nobody was playing in England any more. That let punk in, but there were a lot of kids with long hair and leather jackets, and they had nobody to see.

‘With all the drink and drugs there was always the odd explosion here and there’

over there. It got better, but to begin with we were playing places like Omaha, Nebraska, and of course in those places you can’t even get a drink.

‘Then we came back and did a European tour, and then we were kind

And another thing...

Fastway wrote the music for the classic 1986 metal movie Trick Or Treat, which starred Kiss’s Gene Simmons as a radio DJ and Ozzy Osbourne as a TV evangelist.

‘Life on the road was good fun, but we had some very stressful moments. With all the drink, drugs and everything else that went on, there was always the odd explosion here and there. Ha ha. It was a bit of a haze at times, but it was great. What I liked about Motörhead was that we really appreciated it. We always signed autographs after the shows, and nothing was too much trouble for the fans.

‘We used to get some funny letters, though. We went into the office once and they said: “We’ve had a letter from Birmingham Council because three parents have written to them saying their sons went to the Motörhead concert and their ears haven’t stopped ringing yet.” That was really funny.’

With albums like Overkill, Bomber, Ace Of Spades and No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith under their bullet belts, in April 1981 Motörhead headed onto the road in the US to open for Ozzy Osbourne.

‘To be honest, it was difficult. We’d conquered of forced into doing the Iron Fist album by the record company. We hadn’t had a chance to take a breath, but the record company needed the revenue. So they leant on us. In fact they leant on us so hard that we got the

Marshall law FAST EDDIE’S AMPLIFIERS

‘In 1983 I came across this wonderful Marshall 100W master volume amp when I was rehearsing at John Henry’s place,’ Eddie says. ‘It was just so good, I had to ask John if I could have it. I’ve kept it with me all the time and it’s the one I always use in the studio.

‘When I was doing my solo album in 1993 I was using this amp, and it blew up. We couldn’t find anything that would give us the same sound, not even an identical spare model. So I went home and took the output transformer out of my spare 100 and put it into my favourite one. Then I plugged it in and it was fine.

‘The lucky thing about me is, back in the ’60s I had this little amp that was always blowing up. So when I left school I went for a job as a TV repairman. The fella said to me: “Why do you want the job?” And I said: “I’ve got this little amplifier that keeps blowing up and I want to know how to fix it.” He said: “You can have the job.” And it’s great to be able to fix those things because there’s nothing worse than sitting there with an amp that’s blown up.’

FEBRUARY 2012 Guitar & Bass 33

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