'FAST' EDDIE CLARKE Recalls MOTÖRHEAD's Near-Reunion In Late '90s

November 14, 2016

Former MOTÖRHEAD guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke spoke to EonMusic about a reunion of the band's classic lineup that almost happened nearly two decade ago. He said: "I talked about it in the late nineties with [MOTÖRHEAD mainman] Lemmy. I had a serious conversation with him, and it was looking pretty good. It was kind of like; not to upset the present band — we were going to come up with maybe an acoustic thing, or one of them unplugged things, but do it in a really sort of different way; get [a female orchestra] in all the suspenders and stockings, and cellos and all that — try something like that. And obviously I’d have loved to have gotten back together, but Lemmy, he couldn't face down his band, really — he felt too guilty."

Clarke was a member of MOTÖRHEAD from 1976 until 1982. He was one-third of the band's classic lineup, which also included drummer Philthy "Animal" Taylor, who died in November 2015 of liver failure.

Clarke told EonMusic about his exit from the group: "After the show — which I though was terrible, the agent, Nick Harris came to me and said, 'Why don't we go and talk to Phil and Lemmy? and I said, 'Okay,' because I didn't want to leave — it was the last thing I wanted. So he takes me into their dressing room, and it's full — THE PLASMATICS, everybody's in there. And they peel away from the crowd down the end of the dressing room, and I'm standing with Nick Harris and they say, 'Yeah, what do you want?' and I said, 'Well guys, this is a bit over the top, isn't it? Can't we just carry on — what's the problem here?!' They said, 'No, man, fuck off.' And that was it. What could I do? So I walked out, and that was the end of it."

Clarke, Taylor and Lemmy appeared on five albums together: MOTÖRHEAD's 1977 self-titled debut, 1979's "Overkill" and "Bomber", 1980's "Ace Of Spades" and 1982's "Iron Fist".

Asked in a 2011 interview with Guitar International if he had any plans to ever reunite with Taylor and Clarke, Lemmy said: "No, because these two guys with me now have been with me longer than the original two. They played 'Ace Of Spades' more often than those two. They played 'Overkill' more often than those two. Why should I put Phil [Campbell] and Mikkey [Dee] on hold to go off with guys who probably can't play them as well? They've been out of practice. It's ridiculous to think of it. Then I would be a nostalgia act. I'm all for the now and the future."

Lemmy also talked about the circumstances that led to Clarke's final departure from MOTÖRHEAD. He said: "I like Phil; he was my best mate. Eddie was kind of a friend except he was always complaining about something. It got kinda tedious. Last time he left, we laid low. Before, one of us would go off and bring him back. It was a shame. He shouldn't have done that; we had a lot going for us back then. He should have stuck though it. It was the Wendy O. Williams thing and I couldn't understand that (reference: recording 'Stand By Your Man', a cover version of the Tammy Wynette with Wendy O. Williams). He just gave up on it, because Wendy wasn't immediately perfect on it, she just needed to go through it a few times and he left the band over it. I couldn't fucking believe it. I think he was expecting to be talked back in. Phil came in the room and said, 'Eddie's left again.' I said, 'Whose turn is it to go talk to him?' [Laughs] I said, 'Fuck it, I'm not doing it.' That's the way it went. Wrong decision on his part."

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