'Fast Eddie' Clarke on why Fastway are hitting the road in honour of Lemmy

Fastway guitarist 'Fast' Eddie Clarke playing live

Wasn’t the rebirth of Fastway dreamed up at last year’s Classic Rock Awards?

Yeah. I sat and talked to [Toby Jepson, vocals] about doing something again, but then of course Phil [Taylor] and Lemmy both died. Lemmy really wasn’t looking his best, he was so frail, but I chatted with him about playing [with Motörhead] at Hammersmith, which would have been nice.

You took Lemmy’s death hard, didn’t you?

Yeah, it put me in a weird space for a while. But now I have an overwhelming desire to do something as a doff of the cap to Phil and Lemmy.

You criticised Toby for reuniting Little Angels (“They’re a fucking pop band; there’s men and boys”) instead of staying to tour Fastway’s reunion album Eat Dog Eat. Did he forgive you?

There was nothing to forgive. I was speaking the truth. I still think Little Angels are crap and Toby was a bloody fool. Eat Dog Eat was a fantastic album, and had we toured it we could have done some good business, maybe even started a new chapter.

Is another Fastway record completely out of the question?

Probably, yeah. My own health is going down the tubes pretty fast. I don’t think I’ve got it in me now, and that’s a shame.

What about a follow-up to your blues album, Make My Day?

I’m a bit too ill to go picking up my career, I think, and because of what happened back in 2011 [with Jepson] I still feel slightly robbed of that. I only hope I don’t have a Lemmy moment on this tour. But with Saxon we’re only doing forty minutes per night so it won’t be too strenuous.

Biff Byford and the other Saxon guys are old pals, aren’t they?

I’ve always loved Saxon. When they supported us in my Motörhead days I watched them every night. I never missed them playing See The Light Shining. It’s such a great song.

With Girlschool around, the backstage area is likely to be pretty lively.

It will. And I love those girls. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the fans again. I’ve got a Facebook page, and the comments posted there are quite moving. It’ll be great to see some of those people, even if it’s just one last time.

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Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.