I initially had a ton of updates regarding our little site, but upon hearing of the untimely demise of the incomparable “Fast” Eddie Clarke, I had to weigh in.
Most people know Clarke from his time in Motörhead where he stood beside the legendary Lemmy Kilmister for the early years of the band. But few people actually know how deeply indebted the 1980s era of horror is when it comes to the heavy metal/horror film crossover.
After leaving Motörhead in 1982, Fast Eddie created a new band: Fastway. Finding critical and commercial success, the band was approached in 1986 to create a soundtrack for an upcoming horror film called Trick or Treat (1986).
It is here where Fastway cemented themselves as icons of thrashy, hard-hitting metal.
The movie has garnered a small cult following and was re-branded in the 2000s with new packaging featuring Gene Simmons and Ozzie Osbourne on the cover. Despite having very small roles in the film, the popularity of the rock icons was a significant selling point to the general audience.
The most memorable aspect of the film is the soundtrack. This album was my very first foray into heavy metal music.
When I was a kid in the late 80s and early 90s, my uncle was into metal and horror. I remember his walls painted black and posters of Iron Maiden’s Eddie, Fright Night II, and cassettes & vinyls of metal classics.
The first metal album I ever listened to was Metallica’s Kill ’em All on a black bootleg cassette tape. Shortly thereafter, he played Fastway’s Trick or Treat soundtrack for me on a beautiful black vinyl.
My parents were very much anti-heavy metal/horror films. Censoring was very much a thing in my paternal home. One memory that I will never forget involves a very engaging listening session with the Trick or Treat soundtrack.
When I was around the age of 4 or 5-years-old, I was visiting at my grandmother’s house, where my teenage uncle resided at the time. I remember asking him to listen to the Trick or Treat record. To (most likely) get me out of his hair, he set me up in the small hallway of my grandmother’s house where the family record player cabinet resided.
Now the problem with this scenario was that the hallway was very narrow and in order to listen to the album in that hall I had to use headphones and sit completely across from the player on the adjacent wall. Please see my crude diagram below for a poor rendition of the scene.
During my listening session, my parents came by to pick me up. They saw that I was listening to an album on the record player and thought it was cute; smiling and waving at me. My grandmother, being the woman that we know and love to this day, had to enter her room in the door right next to me. Instead of lifting the headphone cables to go under or asking me to move so she could get by…she UNPLUGS the headphones from the console, steps across, and plugs them back in to the stereo.
In that brief moment, the silence of the house was broken by the wail of Dave King and Fast Eddie Clarke performing After Midnight.
The smiles and waving turned into a frantic dash for the record player.
I don’t remember much about what happened after that. And I’m sure I’m the only one with the clearness of the memory. But the fact is, that particular album had an everlasting impact on me.
I bought my uncle a copy of the vinyl a few years ago partially as a joke but more so as a thank you. Without him, my band Held In Scorn wouldn’t exist as well as the existence of this very site.
As we begin the year of 2018, we remember and mourn the loss of Fast Eddie Clarke. Yes he was an integral part of Motörhead. But he was also one of the pioneers of the relationship between heavy metal and the horror genre.
Thank you Fast Eddie Clarke.
And wherever you may roam, “Don’t Stop The Fight!”