Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 1/11/18
RIP “Fast” Eddie Clarke
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
MOTORHEAD – “Remember Me, I’m Gone” (1982)
“Fast” Eddie Clarke was the sole surviving member of the classic lineup of Motorhead. Waking up to the news today that he died of pneumonia at the age of 67 was yet another in a long line of gut punches as the trend continues of rock legends dying way before their time.
Clarke was the speed that defined Motorhead for the band’s first five albums. He was the producer Iron Fist (his final release with the band). In what may seem like foreshadowing, “Remember Me, I’m Gone” is the B-side to the title track of the Clarke’s final album with the band. Until today, it seemed symbolic for an entirely different reason.
According to a quote from Lemmy, Clarke used to quit the band every few months. When he quit after Iron Fist was released, he wasn’t asked back. Regardless of his departure, he left an indelible mark on the world of heavy metal as one of the members of the classic lineup of a band that will live on long after its members have departed.
It started in November of 2015 with the passing of Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, and continued with Lemmy’s passing in December of 2016. Today, with the passing of “Fast” Eddie Clarke, the reunion of the classic Motorhead reunion is complete (but not in the way that any metal fan wanted).
On this date in 2016, Hard Rock Daddy featured a tribute to Lemmy on Music Discovery Monday after his shocking passing.
FASTWAY – “We Become One” (1983)
In a painful twist of irony, the band that “Fast” Eddie Clarke started after his departure from Motorhead featured a song on their eponymous debut that perfectly captures this moment in time. “We Become One” is one of the most memorable songs off of Fastway’s first release. It is also an accurate description of the reunion that is taking place in rock and roll heaven today.
In my youth, I only had limited exposure to Motorhead, so to me, Fastway seemed like a new band on the scene without any history. I would find out later more about Clarke’s legacy, and his counterpart in Fastway (Pete Way of UFO fame). Their debut album blew me away!
Although I was psyched beyond words to finally see Iron Maiden live on 1983’s Piece Of Mind tour, I was still able to live in the moment of Fastway’s opening performance.
Warm-up bands didn’t always get great receptions back in the arena rock days, especially when they were supporting one of the true icons of metal, but Fastway was different. The crowd, anxiously awaiting Maiden’s performance, was enthusiastic during Fastway’s set. It was the first (and only) time that I saw a warm-up band play their entire album in a live setting.
“Fast” Eddie Clarke’s sudden passing from pneumonia at the age of 67 serves as yet another reminder that we should all appreciate the rock stars of yesteryear while they’re still around.
Clarke passed away on the two-year anniversary of David Bowie’s shocking passing. Although he was no longer in Motorhead, the connection is still a bit eerie. This year (after Lemmy’s passing), Motorhead released a brilliant cover of Bowie’s “Heroes.”
The metal world mourns another one of its heroes today…
RIP Eddie! \m/
KEVIN GRAYSON – HRD Music Scout
SAVATAGE – “Hall Of The Mountain King” (1987)
Savatage is an American heavy metal band that was formed in 1979 by the Oliva brothers (Jon and Criss) at Astro Skate skating rink in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Starting out as Avatar, the band eventually changed its name to Savatage.
In 1992, Jon Oliva left Savatage to pursue his other projects (most notably, Trans-Siberian Orchestra). He would be replaced by vocalist Zachary Stevens. A year later, Criss Oliva was tragically killed by a drunk driver. In memory of his brother, Jon returned to Savatage to keep the band going, but kept Stevens on lead vocals. The duo would, however, share some vocal parts on future albums. Savatage has released 11 studio albums over the years featuring a unique hard rock and progressive metal sound.
I remember hearing the band for the first time in the ‘80s. It was like nothing that I had ever heard before, and it literally gave me goose bumps. Oliva’s voice is simultaneously haunting and pleasant. It draws you in and makes you want to hear more. I shared my discovery of the band with all of my friends.
Complementing Jon’s haunting vocals were the equally haunting riffs of his brother Criss, who played with speed and fire. The way that he was able to come up with riffs that so effortlessly matched his brother’s voice was pure magic. “Hall Of The Mountain King” is off of Savatage’s self-titled album, one of many great albums that the band has released through the years.
ODIN – “Shining Love” (1985)
I may be going out on a limb here featuring guys that have been beaten up over the years by many, but I loved Odin. In my opinion, they should have gotten a major record deal in the ‘80s, but it never happened. It’s surprising given the fact that the band would literally sell out anywhere that they played in the Southern California area, even into the early ‘90s when metal was dying everywhere else.
For people to judge their albums and say that they lacked anything is not a fair assessment. These guys never got a chance to make a quality recording of any of their material, so what you get from them is just a pure, raw sound. “Shining Love” is off of their 1985 EP, Judgment Day.
It took 37 years, but Odin has finally signed a legitimate record deal with EMP Records (David Ellefson’s label).
KURT ARFT – HRD Music Scout
THE SCREAM – “Man In The Moon” (1991)
The Scream was a hard rock, blues-based band that was formed in Los Angeles in 1989 by (then unknown) singer/songwriter/guitarist John Corabi (Motley Crue, Union, Ratt, The Dead Daisies). Rounding out the lineup was Racer – X alum guitarist Bruce Bouillet, bassist Juan Alderete, and former Shark Island drummer Walt Woodward III (RIP).
The band, which originally featured Scott Travis on drums, was formerly called Saints or Sinners. Shortly after the inception of Saints or Sinners, Travis was called upon by Judas Priest to play drums, and Saints or Sinners became The Scream.
Their debut release, Let it Scream, dropped in 1991 during the latter half of the “Hair Metal” era. Strip away all of the glam and glitz of that era, and you have The Scream, a straight-up rock ‘n roll band with grit, raw emotion, and talent.
“Man In The Moon” is one of those songs that lures you in with an acoustic guitar intro, and then unapologetically kicks you in the teeth. Featuring Corabi’s powerful, raspy vocals, “Man In The Moon” was an outstanding track among other great tracks on Let it Scream, an album that surprisingly didn’t receive much fanfare or praise from critics or music fans.
Sadly, like most bands towards the end of that era, The Scream was a short lived project. Corabi departed in 1992 to join Motley Crue. The band recruited a new singer and recorded an album shortly afterwards, but it was never released.
BADLANDS – “Dreams In The Dark” (1989)
Badlands was formed by ex Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E Lee, vocalist Ray Gillen (RIP), and drummer Eric Singer. The band also featured Greg Chaisson on bass. This is another Los Angeles band who made their debut during the “Hair Metal” era, but they didn’t belong in that category.
Badlands had more of a ‘70’s vibe, mixed with the rock of the ‘80’s and ‘90s. Gillen is arguably one of the greatest voices in the history of rock. Complemented by Jake E Lee’s blistering, searing tone and licks, these amazing talents made for a deadly one-two punch.
The band’s self-titled debut was released in 1989. It received good reviews, and the lead single from the album – “Dreams in the Dark” – received pretty steady play on MTV (especially on Headbanger’s Ball, the favorite Saturday night show of every hard rock and metal fan). This straight-up rocker grabs you from the first note and never lets up.
Although their debut album peaked at #57 on the Billboard charts, Badlands is another one of those bands that only attained minimal success in their heyday. This is mainly because they came out at a time where they were lumped in with all of the other bands of an era that was coming to an end. Still, their music lives on to this day.
I asked Chaisson recently on one of his Facebook posts related to Badlands if the band would still be together today if Gillen was still alive. He said that they would. You have to think that, in today’s musical climate, Badlands would be welcomed with open arms with their raw, in-your-face sound.