ddie Clarke (a.k.a. "Fast" Eddie Clarke) joined forces with bassist Pete Way (ex-U.F.O.) when he left Motorhead in 1982. Forming the band name from a concatination of their own names, the pair then recruited Jerry Shirley (ex-Humble Pie; drums) and Dave King (vocals), but Way left in short order after the debut album to form Waysted, and was replaced by Charlie McCraken.
Fans of Motorhead expected a lot from Clarke, but by Fastway's first anniversary they had developed a style far from Motorhead in favor of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin influences (Dave King coming across as a dead ringer for Robert Plant). The single Easy Livin' (1983), and their debut self-titled album, won them few fans but managed to push them into the 74 and 43 (31 in US) chart positions respectively, regardless of their musical style. The album was helped mostly on the strength of it's spin-off single Say What You Will. It would be some time, but they developed a small following in America and launched the album All Fired Up (1984). The album, however, failed to cash in with Americans as it was intended; it struggled to make a 59 on the American charts and was further hindered by lack of interest in Europe. This prompted Shirley and McCracken to quit. After a line-up change involving replacements Shane Carroll and Alan Connor respectively, they released another lifeless attempt in the form of Waiting For The Roar (1986); their sound now drifting into the pop metal direction.
The soundtrack to Trick Or Treat (1986), a rock/horror flick, gave them a breather in the bad luck arena by giving them minor chart position for 11 months. They still failed to capitalize on it, however. Clarke returned to the UK in 1988 and rebuilt the band with Paul Gray (ex-Eddie And The Hot Rods/ex-Damned/ex-U.F.O.; bass), Steve Ckarke (drums) and Lea Hart (ex-Joan Jett; guitar/vocals). The follow-up On Target (1988) failed to achieve the results desired, so Clarke and Hart reset the act once again with K.B. Bren (bass) and "Riff Raff" (drums). With the addition of members of Girlschool, this line-up released Bad Bad Girls in 1990. An aptly titled single I've Had Enough, taken from a track on the Bad Bad Girls release following that same year failed to chart. As it happens, this was their last attempt and they folded shortly later when Eddie Clark decided to go solo. Part of their problem was the press' inability to accept Clarke no longer being an active member of Motorhead and the band as a separate entity. It was a boundary they never managed to cross and assisted in their demise.
The act reunited briefly under the membership Lea Hart (vocals/guitar), Eddie Clarke (guitar), Don Airey (ex-Ozzy Osbourne/ex-Rainbow/ex-Sinner/ex-Deep Purple; keyboards), Gary Ferguson (drums), Pete Riley (drums) to publish On Target Reworked (1998), an album whose title explained it all by being a reworked version of their On Target tracks which was followed by a "best of..." compilation The Collection (2000).
After Eat Dog Eat (2011) the band would remain relatively silent until Clarke died on 10 January 2018, after a battle with pneumonia at the age of 67, thus ending the act.
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"Fast" Eddie Clarke, founder and lead guitarist of Fastway
Photo by: Llb9977
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