Fast Eddie Clarke’s Loud Rock Rig

October 7, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Clarke_FastEddieA buddy of mine recently bought the track “Say What You Will” by Fastway. I remember when the video for that tune first came out – the Internet says it was 1983. Full into my Eddie Van Halen phase, I (and many others!) thought Fastway was “behind the times, man.” The guys looked “old” or “uncool,” the riff was “too simple,” no finger-flying leads (fast?!)…meh.

Of course, now I’d love to hear a band like that come out of nowhere.

Fastway was formed by guitar-wrassler “Fast” Eddie Clark, formerly of Motorhead, and Pete Way, former bassist for UFO – who had to bail early on the project because he apparently had a record contract that wouldn’t let him continue.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the music. It’s just straight-up rock, harder than what I would call “classic rock,” sort of in the early Def Leppard vein. Check it:

Your ears being hip to all kinds of woody toni-ness, you will recognize what sounds like exactly what he looks like he’s playing through: a Gibson Lester Paul into a Marshall soundbox. And you’d be right – from what I can tell.

From plumbing the depths of the internet, looks like there never was a gear-related interview with Fast Eddie. In fact, precious few interviews total. (The Motorhead guys never got much respect from the media types – but maybe you know about an interview somewhere.)

Fast Eddie used a Les Paul or a Strat into a Marshall, probably plexis and JMPs to start, then JCM800s. Did he have any boxes on the floor? Again, tough to tell. But the sleuthing did turn this up, from the Mad Professor website (quotes are from Eddie):

MP Little Green Wonder
MP Deep Dlue Delay

“I found the Little Green Wonder to be a superb change from my Boss OD-1. It gives me a little more edge and smoother step up.”

“The Deep Blue Delay is great. It reminds me of the old-style tape echo from my early days, so to get it in a pedal is great….”

[Mad Professor has some cool endorsees – Marc Ford, Jim McCarty, Pete Anderson, others. I’d like to try those effects!]

So looks like Fast Eddie used an OD-1 too.

His rig would then be: Les Paul (Fastway) or Strat (Motorhead) > OD-1 > Marshall. Sounds like rock!

Live, 2007, Japan. Presumably Fast Eddie was using the Mad Professor pedals here.


> Eddie: “With Fastway I did everything just the same as I always had. We would go into the rehearsal room, I would come up with a riff, we would start working on it and a new song was born. I have to say the first Fastway album was like [Motorhead’s] Overkill or Bomber – straight from the heart and full of genuine good stuff.”

> “My favorite songs by Motorhead I would say are Overkill, Stone Dead Forever, Ace of Spades, The Chase is Better Than the Catch and the solo on Lawman. Fastway favorites would be: Feel Me Touch Me, Say What You Will, Another Day, Heft and Telephone.”

> Along with Lemmy and Phil Taylor, Fast Eddie was part of what is considered by many as the ‘classic’ Motorhead lineup. Below is that lineup playing “Overkill.”

> Here’s Fast Eddie’s official website.

Category: Boss/Roland, Fast Eddie Clarke, Les Paul, Marshall, Strat

Comments (3)

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  1. Adam says:

    Dave King (the original singer) has come quite a far way himself.

  2. Tim says:

    I remember an interview with Eddie in Sounds magazine, at about the time of Bomber. He said then that his pedal board consisted of a Crybaby wah, a Coloursound overdriver, a Bell flanger, an MXR phase 100, and an MXR noise gate. I believe his amps were multiple Marshall JMPs. He’d just tried a Dimarzio SDS in his Strat, but didn’t like it. I think a humbucker went in the Strat in the bridge position soon after. Hope this helps a little.

  3. Rob Hall says:

    I had an early Guitar World with a short piece on him. The pickup in the Strat may be a old super distortion by Dimarzio. He said his motto was “fast and loud” and explained he liked rosewood fingerboards for speed and Marshall’s for volume! I live that guy!!

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