Eddie Clarke, the guitarist and last surviving member from Motörhead during their initial run of success, has passed away at the age of 67. Also known as "Fast" Eddie, Clarke was the band’s guitarist from 1976 to 1982, and performed on the first five studio albums including their 1980 breakthrough Ace of Spades LP, which would become their first U.S. release. According to Motörhead's Facebook page, Clarke “passed away peacefully” on Jan, 10, as he had already been hospitalized while being treated for pneumonia.
Clarke joined the British rock outfit one year following their 1975 formation, where both he and co-founding member Larry Wallis acted as the band’s two guitarists. Wallis would go on to depart Motörhead shortly thereafter, where Clarke remained head of guitar duties over the next seven years before leaving after just two shows into the band’s North American spring tour in 1982. Clarke would go on to form Fastway, in addition to working on a solo career throughout the rest of the decade and beyond.
Clarke and Motörhead’s famous co-founding member/bassist Lemmy Kilmister, would notably reunite in 2014 during the band’s concert at the now-named Arena Birmingham. A video of their reunion performance of “Ace of Spades” can be watched in the fan-shot video below.
Phil Campbell, Motörhead’s longtime guitarist from 1984 until their disbanding in 2015, said shared a statement in saying, “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.”
Motörhead would remain somewhat active into the 2010s, before hanging up their leather and calling it quits following Lemmy’s death in December of 2015.