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FAST EDDIE INTERVIEW

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FASTWAY Dog Eat Dog 2011 Slightly more relaxed than the high-speed hijinks of Eddie’s Motörhead days, Dog Eat Dog is a slice of excellent British blues-based hard rock. Toby Jepson sings and knocks out the mean bass lines

Eddie with Fastway vocalist Toby Jepson

MOTÖRHEAD Ace of Spades 1980 Overkill may have made their name but Ace Of Spades is arguably the greatest creation from the classic Motörhead line-up. The title track alone has inspired more air guitarists than any other record ready and went out on tour to support it, but they didn’t even have the record in the shops. Phil insisted that he would leave the band if we didn’t do the new album live, but the fans didn’t know any of it. It was one of the worst tours we ever did.’

And it was once I came out of hospital and I’d stopped drinking and they’d repaired me that I thought: “Fuck it.” I was a bit shell-shocked with it all actually, so I knocked it all on the head.’

Eddie put out a solo record in 1993, which featured old mucker Lemmy, and retreated to a fisherman’s cottage in Cornwall for the rest of the decade. Then, in

Within a year, Eddie and Motörhead had parted ways. Clarke formed Fastway, and had success in the US not least with the single Say What You Will. But with a revolving line-up of band members and his own problems ‘Fast’ Eddie began to slow down.

‘The last couple of Fastway albums in the early ’90s were done with Lea Hart. I was very ill at the time, my drinking had got out of hand, and he had to take over. I ended up in hospital during the second one, so I hardly played on Bad Bad Girls at all.

‘ I was a bit shell-shocked in the early ’90s, so I knocked it all on the head’

2000, he got a surprise call.‘It was Lemmy. He said: “We’re doing this 25th anniversary at Brixton. We’re going to video it and a few people are going to be getting up and we’d like you to come down and have a go.” So

I dusted off my bullet belt and squeezed into my old stage shirt. I went down and did that and it gave me a bit of a taste for it again.’

Eddie returned to London and gradually eased himself back into his music. In 2007 Sanctuary Records released a Fast Eddie Clarke anthology, and then he resurrected the Fastway name with a string of festival appearances in Europe. ‘When it came to finding a vocalist my friend Steve Strange said: “What about Toby Jepson?” I didn’t really know Toby; I’d heard of Little Angels but that was about as far as it went. But he’s been great, and he’s a great singer.’

Together they’ve created a new Fastway product – the album Dog Eat Dog – and Eddie’s ready to rock again. ‘We have to see what happens with the record. There has to be a bit of interest before promoters are going to take you on. But I’m ready to go on the road at any time, and I know Toby is as well.’

Yet whatever the future holds, Eddie can’t escape his past – and he doesn’t want to. ‘Whenever Lemmy’s in town I try to see him. The best years of my life were the Motörhead years. Whatever went down, I always think of Lemmy and Phil as brothers, not just mates. But then I’m a silly old bugger!’

34 Guitar & Bass FEBRUARY 2012

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